The Patriot Pioneers defeated the Battlefield Bobcats 53-52 on Friday night, in front of a rowdy home crowd.

Patriot’s Jay Randall scored the first points of the night, hitting a pair of free-throws shortly after tipoff. A minute later, Battlefield’s Ryan Derderian put the Bobcats on the board with a layup of his own.

The Pioneers (3-0 in Cedar Run District, 9-0 overall) would score 7 of the first 9 points to open the game, with four of those coming from Randall. Patriot would then go scoreless for the next four minutes, allowing the Bobcats to score six straight to take the lead. The rest of the quarter was and forth, with 5 points from Patriot’s Dezmond Hopkins.

Battlefield led 15-14 at the end of the first period.

The Pioneers came out hot in the second quarter, opening on a 12-3 run behind 5 more from Hopkins as well as 4 from Nick Marrero. After going down 28-20 with just under two minutes to go, the Bobcats then scored the final six points of the quarter to go into halftime with a score of 28-26. Nelson and Ty Gordon scored four each for Battlefield,

Patriot again came out hot in the third, scoring 7 of the first 10 with three from senior Mike Ackerman, but Battlefield (3-2, 7-3) responded promptly with a Maddux Tennant 3-pointer and another two from Bryce Hammersley to make it a two point game again. The rest of the quarter would be a shootout, with the Bobcats holding a narrow 42-41 lead going into the final quarter.

Patriot opened the fourth quarter with another 7-2 run, making it a 48-44 contest with just over four and a half minutes left to go.

The remainder of the game was the definition of hard-nosed, gritty basketball as the teams went at it.

Battlefield hit several clutch shots, including a three by Andy Gonzalez, but a pair of free throws by Patriot junior Nasir Coleman with thirty seconds to go put the Pioneers ahead for the final time in the game as they held on for the one point victory.

When asked how it felt to win in front of a packed house against such a big rival in Battlefield, Patriot head coach Sherman Rivers emphasized the history and competitiveness between the two programs. “There’s been some bad blood between us over the years and it’s a big rivalry.” he said, going on to add that “we needed the boys to come out and play hard for us tonight and they did an awesome job of that.”

Hopkins led Patriot with 14 points and Coleman added 10. The Pioneers were 19 of 47 from the field, including 2 of 18 from the 3-point line. They were 13 of 19 from the free-throw line.

Battlefield was 22 of 51 from the field (2 of 14 from the 3-point line) and 6 of 12 from the free-throw line.

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