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Bertie rallies from 17 down

BLADENBORO – They were on the road and appeared on the brink of elimination.

Trailing by 17 at West Bladen High School Wednesday in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs, Bertie roared back to score 47 points in the second half and take a 68-65 victory.

Keon Moore scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Falcons while Norman Cherry chipped in 23 in the victory.

“Early on they spread us out and hit four three-pointers in the first quarter to get them out to the big lead,” said Bertie High School second-year coach Lester Lyons. “In the second half, we held them to no three-pointers and just seven made field goals.

“Our defensive pressure got to them and we made some baskets to put ourselves in a position to win,” he added.

West Bladen jumped out to a 21-11 lead after one quarter and extended that advantage to 38-21 by the intermission.

Lyons was able to settle his team down at halftime and they came out and scored 24 points in the third quarter while holding West Bladen to just 13.

It was the final quarter that told the story as Bertie outscored their hosts 23-14 to secure the victory.

Moore and Cherry each went 4-for-4 from the free throw line with the game on the line and Jaquan Jones hit the shot from the charity stripe that sealed the win.

The Falcons got eight points from WyKevin Bazemore, all coming during the second half run. Devonte Wiggins added four points.

West Bladen was paced by Cruise Drake with 23 points and D.J. Mason with 11.

Bertie advanced to last night’s (Friday) Sectional Final at Clinton. That game finished too late for press time.