Falcons rebound with win

Published 1:09 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

WINDSOR – Any report of a falloff of Bertie High boys basketball is premature.

In fact, despite having their 10-game win streak snapped by Gates County in the finals of the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty, the Falcons still missed making the NCPreps.com top-10 among 3-A schools by just two votes, garnering honorable-mention.

And Bertie (11-1) proved it was a worthy honor Tuesday night with a 64-27 win over Currituck.

Tyson Perry paced the Falcons with a game-high 19 points and four steals while Keon Moore had 10 points and nine rebounds. In fact, almost every Bertie player who suited up scored in the contest while no Currituck player scored in double-figures.

Darren Thompson led the Knights with eight.

“It was a big thing in our minds to come back and just compete again after having a loss,” said first-year coach Lester Lyons after the game. “We just needed somebody to play so we could get back to work.”

Again, Bertie played another physical contest with 26 fouls being whistled on both teams. When the Falcons’ zone defense is working: quick nimble guards on the wings and his solid post players guarding the paint, they’re a tough team to stop, and tougher still to score on.

“As long as we have the big guys and we use them,” said Lyons, “even if they’re not scoring they’re still a focal point for other defenses.”

The Falcons seized control of the contest late in the first quarter and had a 13-9 lead after the first eight minutes of play. From his guard position, Perry displayed flashes of speed and athleticism and scored 11 points in the first half, mostly in transition thanks to the Bertie defense.

“That’s why our wing players get to score a lot of baskets,” said a smiling Lyons. “Because the other teams are concentrating so much on stopping us from getting it inside.”

Indeed, with Currituck having to shoot over Travis Bond in the middle, and then attempt so many three-pointers to play catch-up, the Knights had a miserable low-percentage shooting night. By halftime the Falcons had a 13-point lead, 29-16.

But it was the third quarter where Bertie really shined.

Currituck’s frustration at their futility led to a technical foul and after Norman Cherry made the free-throw, the Falcons went on a 12-0 run and eventually outscored the Knights, 14-3 for the quarter to make it, 43-19, as the final frame began.

Bertie’s defense again came through, and Currituck was only able to score 11 points for the entire half.

“I think this was a chance to get over last week,” said Lyons. “After winning 10 games in a row and having a big loss like we had we needed to play immediately after losing. This should be a big carry-over to Friday night.”