East edges Eagles
CREEKSVILLE – Northampton-East led from wire-to-wire.
The Rams got an early three-point basket from Kenny Graham and never looked back as they downed Northampton County rival Northeast Academy 57-43 Wednesday night.
Christopher Bishop had 14 points to lead Northampton-East while Sheilek Jacobs chipped in 10. Will Glover had 12 points to pace the Eagles’ offensive attack.
Despite East leading the entire game, it was an extremely close contest in the early going.
After Graham’s triple, Glover hit a bucket to close the gap to one. Bishop hit a pair of free throws moments later, but Brad Johnson answered with a hoop that again trimmed the margin to one (5-4).
Northampton then got back-to-back hoops from Bishop and Travis Wiggins, but Justin Lassiter answered for the Eagles to close the gap to 9-6.
A Jacobs hoop to end the first quarter started a 10-0 run for the Rams, however. Jacobs scored again to start the second period and then Bishop hit consecutive hoops. Jacobs closed the run with a basket that made it 19-6.
Davis Harrell stopped Northeast’s scoring drought when he hit both ends of a 1-plus-1 opportunity and then Johnson added a pair of free throws to close back within 19-10.
Kyshawn Gaskins, however, sandwiched a pair of hoops around a Wiggins bucket as Northampton-East pulled back ahead 25-10.
A Trayvon Daye free throw made it 26-10 before James Pope had a free throw for the Eagles.
Northampton-East closed the first half with back-to-back buckets from Wiggins and Lashawn Pitman as they took a 30-11 lead into the locker room.
The Eagles came out of the halftime break on a 4-0 run thanks to consecutive hoops from Clay Robbins and Pope, but Northampton-East answered when Bishop and Pitman scored back-to-back.
Pope got warmed up from behind the arc and hit consecutive three-pointers for Northeast that powered a 10-0 spurt. Robbins and Glover also scored during the run as Northeast closed within 34-25 with 1:35 remaining in the third period.
Jacobs, however, stopped the run with back-to-back hoops of his own and Pitman added a three-pointer that gave Northampton a 41-25 lead after three quarters.
Bishop scored to open the fourth quarter, but Northeast responded with a hoop from Johnson and a three-pointer by Glover as they closed the gap to 13 (43-30).
The remainder of the contest saw the two teams go back and forth with the Rams not able to pull away, but Northeast likewise not able to really cut into the lead.
In addition to the two in double figures, the Rams got nine from Daye and eight from Wiggins as well as seven from Pitman. Rounding out the scoring were Gaskins (4), Graham (3) and Tremayne Bowser (2).
Pope had nine for Northeast and Johnson had eight while Robbins had six. Rounding out the scoring were Benton Barrett (4), Lassiter (2) and Harrell (2).
Northeast will open Tarheel Independent Conference play on Tuesday when they travel to league rival Lawrence Academy while Northampton-East will be back in action next Saturday (Dec. 11) when they host Hertford County.