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Patriots fend off comeback

Wallace used an early cushion to fend off a scrappy Enterprise-Ozark team in a 71-63 win on Thursday.

The Patriots controlled the momentum for most of the contest, but the Weevils refused to go away. Trailing 55-40 with 11:29 to play, the Weevils went on a 10-2 run highlighted by a Kesia Williams steal and layup to trim the deficit to 57-50.

From there, they stayed within striking distance before two Fortune Smith 3-pointers sparked a 9-1 run that made it a 3-point game with 3:24 left.

“We tend to get ahead and relax,” said Wallace coach Antoinette Blevins. “If we can get them out of that mode, we’re going to be all right.”

Fortunately for Blevins, the Patriots have made a habit of overcoming their tendencies when needed. Two Kenisha Poole layups helped the Patriots outscore the Weevils 7-3 down the stretch to secure the win.

“We play in spurts,” said Enterprise-Ozark coach Wesley Person. “We dig ourselves in a hole, then try to fight out of it. We’re trying to teach them to play 40 minutes.”

Brittany Harris led the Patriots with 18 points. Shauntay Gooden added 12, and Sivon Pugh finished with 11.

Smith and Kiara Henderson led the Weevils with 17 points apiece. Kendra McKinney chipped in 13.

Patriots fend off comeback