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Bears cap perfect league season

AHOSKIE – Perfection!

Hertford County used a 12-4 run to open the second half here Friday night, turning a narrow 31-28 halftime advantage into a double-digit lead en route to a 70-52 win over rival Bertie High School in the regular season basketball finale for both teams.

In the process, the Bears put the finishing touches on a perfect, 12-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference season. It also marked their 20th overall win of the season.

The Bears (20-2 overall) will now enter the conference’s annual post-season tournament as the number one seed for the third consecutive year. HCHS will have a first round bye and will meet the winner of the #4-#5 game (Northeastern vs. Pasquotank) at 8 p.m. on Thursday in Elizabeth City. The conference championship game will be Friday at Hertford County High School.

“We weren’t focused in the first half,” HCHS head coach Charles Simmons said following the game. “We did a better job on the defensive end in the second half and got our transition game going.”

Overall, the coach said he was pleased with the win.

“It’s great to have an undefeated conference regular season,” Simmons said.

Senior guard Lamar Monger lit a fire under the Bears at the outset of the second half where he tallied nine of his game-high 27 points. By the 4:30 mark of the third quarter, HCHS had stretched their lead to 11 (43-32).

Bertie, using a hoop each from Travis Bond, Dequan Williams and O.J. Dobbin, managed an offensive spurt of their own and closed to within 49-42. But the Bears had the answer as Marcus Burnell and Monger each had a basket to close the period followed by a hoop each from Jamal Jones and Burnell to open the fourth quarter by which time HCHS led 57-42.

Bertie never got any closer than 11 points for the remainder of the game.

The Falcons started strong as a basket each from Williams, Tyson Perry and Curtis Moore staked the visitors to a 6-0 lead. HCHS battled back to forge a 6-6 tie thanks to a hoop and two free throws from Burnell and a basket by Deshawn Outlaw.

From that point, the two old rivals locked in a classic battle, one featuring 10 lead changes and seven ties. The Bears took the lead for-keeps (27-26) late in the second quarter on a basket by Outlaw.

Bertie (3-9; 6-15) is the #6 seed for the conference tournament. The Falcons play at #3 First Flight tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m.

Hertford County (70)

Lamar Monger – 27, Marcus Burnell – 24, Deshawn Outlaw – 15, Jamal Jones – 2, Antonio Vaughan – 1, Jordan Jones – 1.

Bertie (52)

Tyson Perry – 16, Dequan Williams – 8, Brandon Brown – 7, Travis Bond – 7, Curtis Moore – 6, O.J. Dobbin – 4, Deandre Askew – 2, Desmond Williams – 2.