Patriots Win in Winston-Salem

by Office of Marketing | Feb 19, 2014
Piedmont Classic
The Patriots didn’t travel all the way to North Carolina in early January without a game plan. They arrived at Piedmont International University (PIU), in Winston-Salem, ready to face three tough opponents over the course of three days. Defensive tenacity, deep shooting and perseverance led to the team’s impressive sweep of the Piedmont International Classic.
They started their journey with a challenging game against the Eagles of Pensacola Christian College (PCC). The Patriots put pressure on the Eagles with their notoriously aggressive defense – forcing 11 turnovers in the first half; as a result, VFCC led PCC by six points at the end of the first half. Though the Patriots jumped out to a 20-point lead at the start of the second half, the Eagles fought back – chipping the deficit down to six points. Fortunately, the VFCC men were able to hold on long enough for a 62-56 victory.
After the first game, Coach Jon Mack was said, "This was a good … win against a very good team.  I was very pleased with our defensive pressure and rotations. I believe our defensive pressure was able to disrupt their shooters’ rhythm, and force them off their sweet spots. Hopefully, we can build on this and take it into our game tomorrow."
Little did Coach Mack know how much the team would need that confidence in the second game. In game two the Patriots were set to square off against the Piedmont International University (PIU) Bruins, who had the advantages of home court. Though VFCC dominated the Bruins by as much as 15 points, the home fans were able to rally their team, and PIU responded by taking the lead with just over two minutes left on the game clock.
With only eight seconds remaining on the clock, the Patriots trailed the Bruins by a mere two points, but had possession of the ball and enough time to execute a jump shot to tie or win the game. Lance Harris carried the ball down the court, with his eyes fixed on the clock; he quickly penetrated the lane – putting him close enough to throw up a teardrop two-point shot. Instead of shooting, though, Harris fired the ball out to Jarvis Hardy, who stood ready to launch the ball from beyond the three-point line. The ball hung in the air, suspended for what seemed like a lifetime, while every eye in the arena watched with angst.
The shot sunk and the Patriot bench went crazy! They had taken victory right out from under the Bruins’ nose – or so they thought. In actuality, one second remained on the game clock, and (because the team charged onto the court) they were penalized with a technical foul. This meant that the Bruins were given two free throws – and with that the ability to take the win. However, after missing both shots, PIU had only one more chance to satisfy the home crowd; much to the excitement of the Patriots, one second was not enough time to for the Bruins to score.
That second game proved to be the most intense. The Patriots rounded out the tournament by dominating the Flames of Welch College in an 84-49 victory. After three impressive showcases, the men of VFCC celebrated with their captain, Lance Harris, after he was awarded the Piedmont International Classic MVP trophy.