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Norlina tops Eagles

LASKER – After trailing for most of Monday night’s game against Norlina Christian School, the Eagles of Northeast came just points from pulling off the upset before falling 73-67.

The Eagles trailed 59-53 coming into the fourth quarter.

Ryan Davis sank two foul shots to cut the lead to four, but Norlina answered with a basket from Travis Crews and two Chris Redman foul shots.

Northeast’s Drew Pinnix sank Davis’ pass for three and then took a steal to the hoop to pull the Eagles within three, 63-60.

The teams traded baskets with Norlina clinging to a three-point advantage.

Following a Crews jumper, Eagles junior Josh Jenkins scored from downtown to get Northeast within two at 69-67.

A Redman bucket the two fouls shots from Marcus Wilson down the stretch sealed the victory for the Crusaders.

&uot;We had our chances to win,&uot; said Eagles head coach John Brown.

The game stayed close for most of the first quarter as the Eagles answered each Crusaders basket.

With Northeast leading 11-10 with under three minutes remaining Norlina went on a 10-point scoring run.

A field goal from Pinnix ended the Crusaders run, but Wilson added a basket just before the buzzer to give Norlina a 33-13 advantage.

&uot;In the first we missed a lot of open shots we needed to make.

We fell behind and had to play catch-up,&uot; said Brown.

The Eagles trailed by as many as 14 in the second despite having a number of looks at the basket.

A basket and trey from Pinnix and bucket from Jenkins pulled Northeast within seven points midway through the quarter but the defense struggled to keep Norlina from the basket.

A

late three from Redman extended the Crusaders lead to 13, 43-30, at the half.

&uot;We didn’t get back on defense and gave up some easy shots in the first half,&uot; noted Brown.

Eight different players scored in the third quarter as Northeast outscored the Crusaders 23-16 to pull within single digits.

Pinnix led the Eagles with 18 points, six rebounds and two steals.

Futrell, a sophomore, followed with 11 points and seven boards.

Jenkins and Davis each had two steals in the loss.

Norlina (73): Travis Crews – 36, Chris Redman – 13, Matt Manson – 11, Marcus Wilson – 11, M. Nichols – 2

Northeast (67): Drew Pinnix – 18,

Brandon Futrell – 11, B Harrell – 8, R. Davis – 7, J. Jenkins – 7, H. Deloatch – 6, J. Parker – 5, J. Pope – 3, J. Baugham – 2