ROCKINGHAM — Xavier Pettigrew’s fastbreak jam with 2:06 left was the icing on the cake for Temple Christian in its last home game of the season.
The sophomore forward caught an outlet pass from Isaiah Scott, took one dribble after he crossed half court and slammed it home. That dunk would only be two of Pettigrew’s 28 points in Temple’s 87-64 victory over South Pointe (S.C.) on Thursday evening.
“They came out and worked really hard,” coach John Byrd said. “They played well together.”
When Temple (13-1, 10-0 CCAA) traveled to South Pointe last month, it dropped its only game of the season. Pettigrew went down with an injury, a couple of other players didn’t take the court and Temple was only able to score 19 points in a 25-point loss.
This time around, the Tigers were at full strength and it showed.
They opened the game on a 13-2 run and held a 40-27 advantage at halftime. An alley-oop from Scott to Pettigrew sparked another run in the third quarter and helped extend their lead to 16 points. Temple would head into the fourth quarter with a 62-41 lead.
A late 3-pointer from South Pointe looked to soften the blow before time ran out, but Emmanuel Gilliam knocked down a three at the buzzer — which set the crowd on fire.
Temple celebrated Senior Night at intermission, recognizing the careers of Scott, Duke Dye and Paul McQueen. Scott finished with a second-best 22 points, Dye scored 11 and McQueen chipped in nine.
“I’m really going to miss them,” Byrd said of the seniors. “They’re very special. They really are.”
Josh Greene, a sophomore forward, scored 14 points for the Tigers.
Smith leads Lady Tigers to win
Rachel Smith, one-third of Temple’s sister trio, scored a game-high 20 points in a 46-28 victory over South Pointe.
The game was tied at 4-all in the early going before the Lady Tigers broke away, using an 11-2 run to end the first quarter with a 15-6 lead. Temple’s defensive intensity picked up in the second peirod and it recorded a number of steals, which led to a 17-point advantage at the break.
South Pointe opened the third quarter on a run in order to cut its deficit to just 11 points. Temple struggled to put the ball in the basket during the third, as it didn’t score its first bucket until the 2:11 mark — a 3-pointer from Rachel Smith.
Things would pick up for the Lady Tigers in the fourth, however, and they would control the way for the rest of the game. Mary Smith scored 10 points, while Anna Smith added eight.
“We tried to run a little motion offense on them and it worked out well for us,” coach Broderick Hair said. “We played a really big team tonight and I thought our girls did well rebounding against them…I was glad to see them be able to adjust and play in a physical ball game.”
Temple’s girls team does not have any seniors on its roster.
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Temple Christian’s Xavier Pettigrew goes up for a dunk in the fourth quarter of a 87-64 victory over South Pointe Christian on Thursday night. Pettigrew finished with a team-high 28 points.
Temple Christian’s Rachel Smith passes to a teammate during a home game against South Pointe. Smith led all scorers with 20 points in the win.