Norlina rallies over NEA
LASKER – Norlina Christian came from seven points down in the final four minutes to take the victory over Northeast Academy by a final count of 47-46.
The Crusaders dominated Northeast in the first quarter, jumping out to a 15-9 lead.
John Pope put the Eagles on the board with a three-pointer, but Northeast would not find the basket for another two minutes.
Brian McLean’s jumper broke the Eagles scoring drought, cutting the Crusaders lead to four (9-5).
Following a Norlina foul shot, the Crusaders were whistled for goaltending, cutting the lead to three at 10-7.
Norlina outscored the Eagles 5-2 over the final three minutes to take a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With four minutes left in the second quarter and Northeast down 21-14, the Eagles offense fired up.
McLean’s foul shot was followed by a basket from Pope.
A bucket and trey by Buddy Duke put the Eagles ahead 22-21.
Ryan Davis took Duke’s pass for three, extending the lead to four.
A three-pointer at the buzzer by Travis Crews cut the Eagles lead to one at the half (25-24).
Northeast kept up the pace in the third period.
A free throw from Elodio Espinosa and a basket by Crews gave Norlina the 27-25 lead, but it was only temporary.
Pope put back the offensive rebound for two, followed by baskets from McLean and Duke.
Duke then hit two shots from beyond the arc, giving the Eagles their biggest lead of the night, 37-27.
After Norlina drew the defense away from the shooter, Crews hit a basket to end the Eagles scoring run.
Two foul shots by Rod Williams cut the Northeast lead to six.
Following a McLean layup David Jones hit a basket for Norlina to cut the lead to six at the end of the third quarter.
With five minutes left in the game Northeast held a 44-37 lead.
Espinsosa hit a basket but was answered by McLean.
Norlina then scored five unanswered points to cut the lead to 46-44.
Northeast missed two three point attempts but luckily for the Eagles Norlina missed the go-ahead three.
Unfortunately that luck ran out.
The Eagles missed two layups before an open Crews hit from three-point range to give Norlina a 47-46 lead with thirty seconds remaining.
Northeast was unable to score on their next possession, giving the Crusaders the ball with seven seconds left in the game.
Norlina was whistled for a foul, giving the Eagles one last chance to take the game.
Duke’s layup was short and Norlina stole the victory 47-46.
Duke led the Eagles with 18 points, including three baskets beyond the arc.
&uot;We missed to many easy shots,&uot; said Eagles’ head coach John Brown.
&uot;We’ve got to make two and three footers.&uot;
Brown praised Pope for &uot;the best games he’s played all year.&uot;
Pope scored 12 points in the Eagles loss.
The Eagles next game with be against Halifax Tuesday night.
Travis Crews – 23, E. Espinosa – 7, R. Williams – 7, C. Redman – 5, D. Jones – 5
Buddy Duke – 18, John Pope – 12, Brian McLean – 11, R. Davis – 3, D. Deloatch – 2