Coaxum scores winning bucket for Panthers
Pinewood Prep ended its regular season play on Tuesday with a big win on the road against Northwood Academy.
The Panthers won 64-62 on a strong drive to the basket by Dexter Coaxum. Northwood Academy was left with two seconds to heave up a shot that hit the back iron and came off to seal the win for Pinewood.
The win leaves Pinewood tied for second in the region with the Chargers. The seeding for the SCISA state tournament came out yesterday and with the win Pinewood should receive a high seed.
Pinewood was led in scoring by Ahmad Ray with 21 points and Dexter Coaxum with 17. Ray, who had his best offensive showing of the year, knocked down four 3-pointers and went 3 for 3 from the foul line. Austin McCray and Michael Wright each had nine rebounds and McCray added five blocks in a great defensive effort.
Pinewood’s senior point guard Jimmy Thomas had a solid night handling Northwood’s full court, man-to-man pressure. Thomas ended up with 7 points, four assists and only two turnovers. He also hit a big 3 in the last minute that cut Northwood’s lead from 6 to 3 points.
Late game heroics came from the Pinewood bench as three starters fouled out in the last three minutes. Sophomore Leslie Redden made two huge plays in the last minute. First he hit two free throws to tie the game at 62-62. He then drew a charge on the other end to give the ball back to Pinewood with 17 seconds left. That’s when Coaxum took over and finished on a strong drive to the basket.
Coach Pat Eidson was pleased with the toughness his team showed.
“I believe this game just illustrates our season,” he said. “We have suffered set back after set back with injuries and adversity. Our kids have shown some good old-fashioned toughness and grit. I am so proud of the way they have hung tough all season.”
Pinewood finished the season at 18-12 and will wait to see where and when they will play in the state tournament.