By Barron Demons
In a fight for second place for the Region 8 State Tournament, the Pirate men basketball team fell to Chipola College 66-61, eliminating them from postseason contention.
Where the top two teams of their conference gets a chance to play in the Region 8 tournament, the Pirates found themselves in third place, behind second place Chipola College.
The Indians were 6-4 in conference while the Pirates were game behind at 6-5.
Pensacola State College (PSC) faced a must win situation, not only to secure the second place spot, but to keep their season alive.
It was sophomore night in Hartsell Arena, but the first half unfolded slowly for the Pirates.
PSC seemed flustered and were plagued by turnovers. The Pirates didn’t play their best game and found themselves in a familiar place, trailing at halftime 36-24.
In the second half, PSC picked up the pace, and a spark was provided early from PSC.
Matt Johnson nailed a threepointer in the corner and 30 seconds later, Gerald Williams made a layup at the basket to cut the deficit to seven points (38-31) with 17:25 left to play.
The game was never out of reach for the Pirates.
They went back and forth with Chipola most of the second half, and found themselves down three points (62-59) with possession and 20 seconds remaining in the game.
Matt Johnson had the duties of inbounding the ball but couldn’t find an open player, and PSC was called for a 5-second violation. The Pirates were forced to foul after Chipola inbounded the ball, sending the Indians to the free throw line to hope for missed free throws.
With 16 seconds left to play, Chipola’s CJ Williamson made both free throws extending their lead (64-59).
After a put-back dunk by Daryl Lewis, the Pirates were forced to foul once more, sending Chipola’s Brandon Mahan to the free throw line with 6.6 seconds remaining.
Mahan made both free throws icing the game for Chipola, and the Indians escaped with a 66-61 win over the Pirates.
In the final game of the season, the Pirates went on the road and defeated Tallahassee Community College (TCC) 91-83.
The Pirates, (17-12, 6-6) with 11:44 left in the game, stormed back from being 14 points down to defeat the Eagles.
PSC was down 37-43 at halftime and outscored TCC by 14 points in the second half.
Yeikson Montero lead all Pirates with 20 points, followed by Willesley Butler and Carlos Rosario who both posted 17.
Freshman guard Mike McDougal finished the game with a double-double scoring 14 points with 10 assists.
Deng Mayot, Neino Robinson, Lorenzo Lawrence, Butler, Lewis and Williams played their last game as Pirates and will be moving on from PSC.
Head Coach Pete Pena will replace three starters and six total players as the Pirates look to bounce back next season.