PUMPKIN CENTER â€” The Highland Tech Rams completed a three-game sweep of the North Lincoln Knights with Tuesdayâ€™s 64-40 Southern Piedmont Conference tournament semifinal win, and now move onto the championship game against Lincolnton on Friday.
Highland Techâ€™s Kameron Harper hit seven three-pointers to pace the Rams with 25 points.
â€œWe just did a poor job closing out on shooters, we had our hands down,â€ North Lincoln head coach Eric King said. â€œWe talked before the game about who the key shooters were, but we allowed them open looks and they knocked them down. We just didnâ€™t play well enough to beat a team like that. We didnâ€™t work hard enough on defense to stay in the game and we let that carry over into our offense. There was no flow on offense at all.â€
North Lincoln played close with the Rams in the teamsâ€™ second meeting during the regular season, getting edged out by a three-point shot at the buzzer on Jan. 24.
The Knights finished off the first quarter with a 5-0 run to go down 10-9 after the opening minutes. Cameron Varberg hit his lone field goal of the night moments into the second quarter on a put-back to put the Knights ahead 12-11, but back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Harper lifted the Rams to a 20-15 lead. Jevon Patton added back-to-back three-pointers of his own with 20 seconds left in the first half to give the Rams a 26-15 lead.
The Knights scored 15 points in the third quarter, but the Rams put 24 on the board. A three-pointer by Christian Ramos with 6:20 left in the third brought the Knights within 11, but the Rams followed that score up with a 7-0 run to take a 38-21 lead.
The Rams pulled ahead further in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Knights 14-10.
Gray Brotherton led the Knights in scoring with 17 points. Brotherton was 4-7 from two-point range and 1-5 from three-point range and hit six of seven free throw attempts. Brotherton and Cohen Pirtle both had five rebounds.