Despite big numbers from Nicholson, Pirates drop pair of games

Michael L. Misfeldt

Brady Nicholson scouts the floor as he brings the ball up the court in what would be a loss to Fair Grove on Dec. 15 (Photos by Ethan Gray)

Ash Grove Pirates head coach Grant Williamson discusses the plan during a timeout.

Ash Grove’s Bryce Davis looks for the cutter against Fair Grove last week.

The Ash Grove High School boys’ basketball team played two games last week and ended up losing both of them.
The Pirates traveled to Fair Grove on Friday, Dec. 15, and came home with a 75-67 loss.
Fair Grove took an early 13-9 first quarter lead and increased that to 26-21 at the half. A 26-point third quarter by Fair Grove gave them a 52-31 lead. The fourth quarter though was a shootout as Ash Grove hit for 36 points, while the Eagles answered back with 23 points of their own. In the end though, it was not enough as Ash Grove fell by eight points.
“We were able to compete really tough for the majority of the game,” said Ash Grove head coach Grant Williamson. “We had a lull in the third quarter where their size and athleticism overwhelmed us a bit and got it into a hole. Our guys showed a lot of grit to dig themselves out of it. It was a great learning game for our guys.”
Brady Nicholson led Ash Grove with 35 points, Kyler Reece added 17 points and Bryce Davis ended the game with 11 points.
The Pirates opened the week by hosting Sparta on Tuesday, Dec. 12, but lost, 84-70.
Sparta shot well to start the game, scoring 29 points in the first quarter to take a 29-16 lead. In the second quarter, Ash Grove answered back scoring 23 points, while allowing 15 points to cut the lead to 44-39 at the half. Ash Grove once again outscored Sparta in the third quarter, 20-19 to cut the lead to 63-59. In the final quarter of play, Sparta played a smothering defense, only allowing Ash Grove 11 points, while Sparta scored 21 points to put the game away.
“Our guys played really well, and I was proud of how they competed against a very good Sparta team,” said Williamson. “The game was close throughout and we gave ourselves chances which is all we can ask for as coaches. Their size ultimately was a challenge for us down the stretch.”
Nicholson paced Ash Grove with 37 points, while Asher Rust added 17 points in the loss.
The Pirates are now 5-3 on the season and have nothing scheduled until Dec. 26 when they take part in the Blue and Gold Tournament in Springfield.

Lady Pirates fall to Clever; look to Walnut Grove Holiday Classic, will also host WG tourney games
The Lady Pirates played just one game last week, as they traveled to Clever, on Monday, Dec. 11, and lost 62-38.
Ash Grove led 10-8 after the first quarter, but a 31-point second quarter from Clever put the game out of reach, as the Lady Pirates went into the half trailing 39-18. Clever extended their lead to 52-26 by the end of the third quarter and added another 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Millison Sapp led Ash Grove with 17 points and Chelsye Graham added 10 points in the loss.
The Lady Pirates are now 5-3 on the season and will start the Walnut Grove Holiday Classic tomorrow night.


Lawrence County Record

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