Bears make it three straight over rival

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2005

AHOSKIE – A 23-2 run was enough.

Hertford County reversed a 10-point deficit in just under a quarter and knocked off Bertie 89-77 in the first round of the Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament here Tuesday night.

The win was Hertford County’s third over Bertie in four meetings this season and the third consecutive win for the Bears over the Falcons.

Trailing 20-10, Marcus Burnell sparked the HCHS run with a triple that cut the deficit to seven. James Futrell and Leonard Burnell then hit back-to-back buckets before M. Burnell scored again to get Hertford County to within 20-19.

O’Keefe Locke scored for Bertie to stop the run temporarily, but Lamar Monger scored for the Bears to cut the lead back to one (22-21) at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started exactly the same for the Bears as HCHS rolled off six straight buckets.

L. Burnell sandwiched a pair of hoops around buckets by Ken Lee and Frank Gatling as the Bears went out to a 29-22 advantage.

Back-to-back hoops by LaMarcus Jenkins and Gatling helped Hertford County reach a commanding 33-22 lead with just over five minutes to play in the second quarter.

Rwenshaun Miller stopped the HCHS run with a hoop, but Jenkins answered with a basket for the Bears. Kent Bazemore then scored for the Falcons to trim the lead to 35-26.

Jenkins hit a hoop and a free throw just before Gatling drilled a trey to put the Bears up 41-26.

Bazemore led a Bertie rally, scoring six unanswered points to get the Falcons within less than 10 points at 41-32.

A triple by Wayne Pryor at the end of the half helped the Bears grab a 47-36 lead at the intermission.

Bazemore started the second half with back-to-back buckets to help the Falcons get within 47-40.

The lead stayed at or near seven for most of the third quarter before Lee buried a triple at the end of the period to give Hertford County a 70-61 lead heading into the final period.

Gatling and Jenkins hit consecutive hoops to start the fourth quarter, giving HCHS a 74-61 lead. From there, the Falcons got no closer than nine as the Bears held on to advance to the league semifinals.

&uot;I am real pleased with the victory,&uot; veteran HCHS basketball boss Charles Simmons said. &uot;We executed down the stretch and we made our free throws to secure the win.&uot;

The Bears will meet Northeastern in the semifinals tonight (Thursday) at Northeastern.

Hertford County (89): LaMarcus Jenkins – 23, Frank Gatling – 19, Ken Lee – 14, L. Burnell – 8, J. Futrell – 6, W. Pryor – 5, L. Monger – 5, M. Burnell – 5, L. Bond – 4

Bertie (77): Kent Bazemore – 30, Billy McShepard – 16, Terrill Holley – 14, R. Miller – 6, T. Vaughan – 5, O. Locke – 4, J. Lee – 2