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Up-tempo third leads Eagles to victory

LASKER – A third-quarter tempo change paced Northeast Academy here Tuesday night.

The home-standing Eagles turned up their defensive pressure in the third stanza and went on to a 60-34 win over Pungo Christian Academy.

“The boys really turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter causing a lot of turnovers,” Northeast basketball boss John Brown said. “Also, in the third and fourth quarter, we were able to set a fast tempo that wore them down.”

The Eagles led 30-17 early in the third quarter when Pungo got a hoop and a free throw from #24 as they cut the deficit to 10 (30-20). That was as close as the Raiders would get, however, as the defensive pressure allowed Northeast to begin to pull away.

Jeremy Parker started the spurt with a deuce that was followed quickly by a bucket by Zach Credle After two PCA free throws, Hunter Deloatch sandwiched two buckets around a PCA hoop and Parker had back-to-back scores as Northeast built their lead to 42-24.

The onslaught continued for the home team as Deloatch, Cody Fleetwood and Davis Harrell each had hoops for the Eagles as they pushed their advantage to 48-24 by the end of the third quarter.

Pungo’s Credle stopped the spurt at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Northeast got back-to-back buckets from Matthew Clark and Brandon Futrell to take a 52-26 lead at the 5:35 mark of the final period.

After a Joseph Braddy hoop for the Raiders at 5:05 of the fourth quarter, the Eagles didn’t allow PCA to score again.

Justin Lassiter had six points in the final five minutes to go along with a Jeff White deuce to secure the victory.

Futrell led the Northeast attack with 13 points followed closely by 11 from Deloatch. Harrell contributed eight while Lassiter, Fleetwood and Parker had six points each.

Pungo was led by seven points from Credle.

The game was close throughout the first quarter with Northeast taking an early lead on a Deloatch bucket only to see PCA rally behind a hoop and a triple.

PCA eventually led 7-4, but Northeast scored the next eight points thanks to a hoop each from Fleetwood, Jud Smith and Futrell and a pair of free throws by Harrell.

The teams went back-and-forth over the closing minutes of the quarter with Northeast eventually gaining a 13-9 lead.

Futrell dominated the opening minutes of the second quarter, hitting four straight buckets and adding a free throw as he helped push the Northeast lead from four to 13 (22-9) by the 4:15 mark of the second period.

The Raiders responded by scoring eight of the next 12 to close the gap to 11 (28-17) at the intermission.

The Eagles will be on the road Friday (at Ridgecroft) and Monday (at Terra Ceia) before returning home next Friday (Jan. 16) when they host rival Hobgood Academy.