Patriots survive Sunshine scare

LINDEN— Despite losing nearly all of a 20-point lead, Linden (17-1, 6-0) held on to beat area foe Sunshine 69-63 Thursday night.

Sunshine used a 28-point fourth quarter to close the gap on Linden, pulling to as close as one point before Linden answered on the other end. With 1:30 to go in the contest, Cletrel Pope rebounded a missed jumper and got the put-back to fall to cut the deficit to 61-60.

After a failed offensive possession, Linden came up with a stop defensively to set up an Imoras Agee drive that saw the Patriots’ leading scorer penetrate to the circle before dumping the ball off to Nicholas Rogers, who nailed the easy layup to push the Pat lead back to three.

Undeterred, Pope struck again just nine seconds later when he rebounded his own miss and nailed the second-chance opportunity to put his team back to within one.

The game turned on a flagrant foul call that sent Shauka Reese to the line where the senior guard drained a pair of free throws to again extend the Linden advantage and give the Patriots possession. Agee than knocked down to free throws to put the game further out of reach before Kynard Craig sealed it with two bonus shots of his own with only 4.2 seconds remaining.

Linden opened the game on a 19-4 run and never trailed in the contest despite the late onslaught from Sunshine.

Pope led all scorers with 31 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Keonta Edwards added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers.

Agee led Linden with 29 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists. Reese finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Chris Rogers had 10 points.

The Patriots played the game without starting point guard Anthony Robinson, who was on an college visit. Nicholas Rogers tallied six points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals in his place.

Linden is scheduled to travel to A.L. Johnson Friday night.