HCHS bows out
AHOSKIE – The formula held true almost all year.
Unfortunately, Hertford County High School wasn’t able to produce it Wednesday night as the Bear’s season came to an end.
Most of the season it took four Bears to reach double figures for them to advance. Only three reached the mark in the semifinals of the Section I playoffs Wednesday and HCHS fell to Wilson’s James B. Hunt High School 75-64.
“We didn’t execute down the stretch,” Hertford County coach Charles Simmons said. “We also missed free throws that hurt us.
“We built a 13-point lead and then we lost our composure and let them back in the game,” he added.
The Bears were indeed ahead by 13 early in the third quarter. That lead came after Antonio Branch and LaMarcus “Buck” Jenkins scored the opening two shots of the third period to give Hertford County a 44-31 advantage.
Hunt bounced back and scored the next nine points thanks to Alton Vinson hitting a pair of hoops and a free throw as they closed within 44-40.
The Bears stopped the run with a Lamar Monger hoop, but Hunt scored seven of the next nine points to trim their deficit to one point.
Danny Dembry and Darren Everette each hit 1-of-2 from the line to give the Bears a three-point lead, but Hunt got a Dustin Dunn score to deadlock the game at 51-all. HCHS did lead by two (53-51) after three quarters thanks to a Dembry hoop.
Branch helped the Bears extend their advantage with the first score of the fourth quarter, but Kason Cheeks hit back-to-back buckets and Devonte Barnes added a free throw that gave the Warriors a 56-55 lead.
The Bears were able to stay in the contest thanks to a hoop by Marcus Burnell and a triple off the hands of Monger that gave them a 62-59 lead with three minutes to play.
Cheeks scored and was fouled seconds later as he tied the contest with his free throw. Dunn gave the Warriors the lead for good with a three-pointer at the two-minute mark.
Monger scored with 1:45 to play to get the Bears within one (65-64), but Hunt hit eight straight free throws and a late-second bucket to secure the win.
“We’re disappointed, but we had a great season,” Simmons said.
The Bears finished 23-4 on the year.
Hunt (75): Alton Vinson n 18, Kason Cheeks n 16, Dustin Dunn n 15, Robby White n 11, Devonte Barnes n 10, D. Hesmer n 3, K. Hill n 2
HCHS (64): Lamar Monger n 11, LaMarcus Jenkins n 10, Tydreke Powell n 10, M. Burnell n 9, D. Dembry n 8, A. Branch n 6, P. Downing n 6, D. Everette – 4