Bears earn trip back to finals

Published 3:41 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2009

AHOSKIE – The Bears made their way back to the title tilt.

Hertford County High School used balanced scoring to knock off Northampton County High School – East 76-47 to earn a place in tonight’s (Tuesday) championship game of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty.

Petey Boone chipped in 15 points while Antonio Vaughan had 14 in his season debut for the Bears. Kenny Graham led the Rams with nine points and James Williams had eight points.

Graham hit the first bucket of the game, a three-pointer early in the contest, but it was the Bears who answered with 10 straight. Boone had the first hoop and was followed by Vaughan’s first bucket and initial tri-fecta as the Bears led 7-3. Boone added a triple of his own to give HCHS a 10-3 lead before the Rams had three straight on a field goal and free throw by Williams to cut the lead to 10-6.

Jordan Jones had back-to-back buckets and a free throw for the Bears before a Javaris Liverman three-pointer for Northampton-East as HCHS grabbed a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Williams and Graham started the second quarter with back-to-back buckets for the Rams as they closed within 15-13, but Hertford County got a hoop and a free throw from Jones to push the lead back to five.

An exchange of hoops left the Bears with a three-point lead after a Williams bucket midway through the second quarter.

Then the Bears took over, scoring 10 unanswered points and 14 of the next 15 to take a 36-20 lead at the intermission. Dontez Tyler started the spurt with a hoop that was followed by a hoop from Boone and a three-pointer by Vaughan. Tyler added another hoop before a Markee White free throw gave the Bears a 32-19 lead.

Trayvon Daye ended the spurt with a free throw for the Rams, but Vaughan and Derrick Benthall scored the final two hoops of the first half to allow the Bears to head to the locker room up by 16.

The Bears started the third quarter where they left off in the second, going on a 6-0 spurt to start the quarter. Tyler had one bucket while Boone chipped in two as the Bears led 42-20 in the early going.

The Rams finally got a hoop from Cameron Peele to end the scoreless streak, but the Bears came back with a free throw from Tyler and a bucket each from Boone and Benthall to push their lead to 47-22.

Evans Grants stopped the run for Northampton, but the Bears again responded with back-to-back hoops from Shelton Simmons and Vaughan as they extended their lead to 51-24.

The Rams closed to within 26 by the end of the quarter, but got no closer.

Hertford County scored six of the first eight points in the fourth quarter to pull out to a 30-point lead (61-31) and set it on cruise control from that point going on to the 76-47 final.

In addition to those in double digits, the Bears got eight each from Quenton Lashley and Jones and seven apiece from Simmons and Tyler. Brian Beale chipped in six while Benthall and White had four each. Michael Morris had three points.

Both teams play again tonight with the Rams squaring off with the Gates County-Bertie loser in the Consolation Game and the Bears trying to reclaim the Classic championship.