PICKERING – Trailing by double figures most of the way, Pitkin needed stop and buckets down the stretch to give it a chance to win.
The Tigers answered with three 3 pointers in the fourth quarter to defeat Pickering 67-64 Friday night at Pickering High School.
"It was definitely exciting and relieving, considering how we play at Converse on Tuesday," Pitkin head coach Jake Greene said. "I think it was a big step forward for us, even though we had a lot of turnovers and gave up offensive rebounds. I was proud of the way we fought back.
"They came out and did a really good job. It's a fun matchup."
The game featured a matchup of two of the top premier scorers and players in the area – Pickering guard DeShawn Jackson and Pitkin guard Garrett Edwards – and both came up with big plays throughout the game.
The Red Devils (6-9) led 57-47 heading into the final quarter, but the Tigers quickly cut into the lead, going on a 8-0 run off a 3 and layup by Edwards and a 3 by Kyle McKee.
"Coach (Brandon) Jordan did a good job," Greene said. "They ran a full-court trap against us last time, and this time, it was a half-court trap. We didn't prepare for it during practice; we were working on the full-court press. It threw us off a little bit."
Pitkin (14-7) took its first lead of the game with three minutes to play on another 3 from McKee.
McKee was nearly automatic from deep, hitting eight 3 pointers.
"Every time I looked out, he was shooting for 35 feet out," Pickering head coach Brandon Jordan said. "I tell the guys to guard to the 3-point line. I can't blame them for letting him shoot that."
Pickering guard Xavier Evans hits two free throws with 2:06 left to tie it at 63, and Glenn Anderson split a pair of shots at line to give Pickering the 1-point advantage.
With 20 seconds left, Edwards cut to the basket for the layup, giving the lead back to Pitkin.
Pickering came up empty on the other end, and Edwards hit a free throw to give the Tigers the win as a the half-court heave was off target.
Edwards led all scorers with 34 points, and McKee added 24 – all from beyond the arc – for Pitkin.
Jackson scored 32 points, despite being guarded by a box-and-1 all night.
"DeShawn really got after it at the top of our 1-2-2 trap," Jordan said. "I had to take him off of it because he started cramping a bit.
"He's got a motor, and he's just a sophomore. He's rail thin, but if he keeps playing football and puts on 20 pounds by the time he graduates, he'll be playing big-time college basketball."
Ahmad Fleming scored 14 for Pickering, and Evans added 12.
"We haven't had the season that we wanted," Jordan said. "I thought we would would have a better record, but we haven't been losing to bad teams. We've been beating them and getting beat by good teams. You either win or learn. This has to be a learning experience for us. When you go into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead, you have to win that game."