Pinecrest couldn't notch a win in its home opener on Tuesday night, falling 60-40 to King's Ridge.
Former Paladin Sean Flanigan showed off familiar skills, coming off the bench to score 11 points along with four rebounds and four assists for the Tigers (2-3). Pinecrest (0-3) was led by Hank Lynch, who scored 13 points and grabbed three boards, while Ben Gobbel helped the Paladins battle late, adding two nifty fourth-quarter field goals to finish with 11 points and two steals.
Pinecrest, led by first-year head coach Terrance Vinson, looked poised for an upset early on--stifling the Tigers, mainly by frustrating 6-foot-5 Eric Coleman Jr. (whose frustrations boiled over into a technical later in the game when he appeared to hurl the ball at a Pinecrest player).
Gobbel hit a floater over Coleman as the first quarter ended to tie the game at 12-all, but the Paladins were outscored 18-11 in the second period and 18-2 in the third as King's Ridge took a 48-25 lead into the final eight minutes.
The struggles for Pinecrest in the third were a result of six straight steals to open the quarter from the Tigers, leading to easy layups for Kameron Dozier (8 points) and Andrew Parkin (10 points).
"It's hard to compete when you have two bad quarters like that," Vinson, now head coach after spending a year as an assistant under Lay Lynch, said. "We have to control the ball when we have it."
Still, the Paladins outscored King's Ridge 15-12 in the fourth.
"Coaching these guys is so great because they give 110-percent effort every day," Vinson said. "If we can just solve a key area each time out I'm confident we'll continue to get better because they want to work."
The Paladins crashes the glass well, getting four boards from Robert Binkey and five from Addison Ehle. Ryan Diazo also came off the bench late to score two crowd-pleasing buckets.