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Defense sparks Northeast win

LASKER – Defense. Defense. Defense.

That was exactly the mantra of the Northeast Academy seniors Tuesday night as they turned up the defensive pressure on visiting Albemarle School and rolled to a 66-35 victory on senior night.

“The seniors pulled together with strong defense and a quick tempo that kept Albemarle off balance,” said veteran Northeast Academy skipper John Brown.

Senior Jay Baugham led the defensive effort, collecting three steals in the first quarter that led to easy baskets for the Eagles as they jumped out to a 9-3 start.

Senior Jeff White got the first hoop for the Eagles and was followed by a three-point play from Baugham as the Eagles led 5-3. White and Brandon Futrell added back-to-back hoops to give Northeast a 9-3 lead before Blake Lawrence hit his second three-pointer of the game for Albemarle.

Baugham then scored back-to-back buckets before Hunter Deloatch added two free throws and Matthew Clark got 1-of-2 from the line to make it 16-6 in favor of the home team.

The lead stood 17-10 after free throws, but Deloatch buried a triple and a hoop to make it 22-10 for the Eagles after one quarter.

Albemarle climbed back as close as 25-16 after a triple from Beau Thompson, but Northeast scored seven of the final nine points to lead 32-18 at the intermission. Jeremy Parker, James Pope and Cam Davis each scored during the spurt.

The Eagles continued to pull away during the opening minutes of the third quarter as Futrell sandwiched a pair of hoops around a White bucket as the lead ballooned to 20 points (38-18). Deloatch added a hoop before Parker scored twice from the free throw line as Northeast made it 10 in a row to open the second half.

A free throw by Buddy Bolman interrupted the Northeast streak momentarily, but Deloatch hit a free throw and White scored again to make it 45-19 with 4:10 to play in the third quarter.

The Colts got as close as 21 (48-27) by the end of the quarter and then moved within 18 during the opening minutes of the fourth, but Northeast rolled off 11 unanswered points in the final period to pull away for the easy victory.

White and Deloatch led the Eagles with a dozen points each while Futrell added 11 and Baugham had 10. Parker contributed seven points while Clark and Davis had four each.

Albemarle was led by Lawrence with 14 and Thompson with 11 points.