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HCHS advances to finals

AHOSKIE – This one was never truly in doubt.

Hertford County High School’s varsity boys basketball team advanced to the Sectional Finals after cruising by White Oak 61-45 in the semifinal round Thursday night.

“We came out a bit sluggish to start the game, but made a nice run in the second quarter to lead at halftime,” Bears’ basketball boss Charles Simmons said. “We let them back in the game in the third quarter, but I was pleased with the way we played down the stretch.”

The Vikings did get as close as five (31-26) in the third period, but couldn’t get closer as Hertford County earned their second sectional final in the past three seasons.

The Bears held a comfortable 31-16 lead heading into the third quarter, but White Oak rolled off the first 10 points of the second half to close the gap to five.

Lazon Bady started the spurt and ended it while Darryl Davis and Jacob Legan also scored for the Vikings during the stretch.

Hertford County finally got on the board in the second half when Antonio Vaughan scored a field goal. He was followed by a Lamar Monger free throw. Monger then hit a triple to give the Bears a 37-26 edge.

White Oak hit the next five points, all from the charity stripe to close back within 37-31. After Monger scored for the Bears, Chris Lawrence answered for the Vikings to leave the game a six-point affair heading into the final period.

After exchanging hoops to begin the quarter, the Bears put the game on ice when Shawn Reid, Marcus Burnell and Monger had consecutive hoops to give the home team a 48-35 lead with 3:37 to play.

The Bears then went to the three throw line and hit 5-of-6 from the line to push their lead out to 53-37.

After Lawrence scored for White Oak, the Bears got back-to-back buckets from Burnell and Reid to take a comfortable 57-39 advantage.

Burnell and Monger then sealed the win at the free throw line, allowing HCHS to claim their 24th victory of the season.

Despite the sluggish start, HCHS was able to get out to an early 7-2 lead when Burnell and Vaughan hit buckets and Monger scored from behind the arc.

After it closed to 7-4, Burnell hit a hoop and two shots from the charity stripe to extend the Bears’ advantage back to seven (11-4).

Hertford County went on to lead 18-8 after one quarter thanks to scores from Deshawn Outlaw and Vaughan.

Monger opened the second period with a hoop and, after a Davis score for White Oak, the Bears got back-to-back buckets from Outlaw and Reid to go ahead 24-10.

White Oak closed the gap to 10 (26-16) after consecutive hoops from Bady and Devin Davis, but Monger and Outlaw scored for HCHS to establish the 31-16 halftime lead.

Monger led all scorers with 21 points. Burnell (15) and Vaughan (13) were also in double digits for HCHS. Lawrence led White Oak with 11 points.

The Bears, now 24-2, played at Kinston last night (Friday) in the sectional final. That contest ended too late for press time tonight.

HCHS (61): Lamar Monger n 21, Marcus Burnell n 15, Antonio Vaughan n 13, Deshawn Outlaw n 6, Shawn Reid n 6

White Oak (45): Chris Lawrence n 11, Darryl Davis n 9, Lazon Bady n 8, Jacob Legan n 6, Devin Davis n 6, Matt Grantham n 3, Tremayne McNair – 2