Whistle finish

Published 5:28 pm Sunday, January 16, 2011

WINDSOR – A single whistle.

That was the deciding factor here Friday night as – with the game tied at 46-all – a referee’s whistle sent Bertie High School’s Dyleezia Warren to the free throw line. There she converted both opportunities to give the Lady Falcons a 48-46 victory over rival Hertford County High School.

“I’m still checking my blood pressure,” Bertie Head Coach Alice Lyons said. “I can’t take too many of them. I don’t know who fouled our player, but I thank them.”

On the other sideline, HCHS Head Coach Justin Frederes saw it differently.

“I didn’t see it,” he said. “Not to comment on the officiating, but I don’t think you make that call with five seconds left in the game after they’d been letting them play all game.

“That being said, we missed some shots we should’ve made,” he continued. “We didn’t make some plays we should have. Next time, hopefully we can get that done.”

The contest was close throughout and the visiting Lady Bears led 32-28 heading into the final quarter.

After an exchange of shots, Montreshia Perry hit a bucket that closed the gap to two (36-34). Hertford County’s Camaryn Jones responded with a pair of free throws, but Bertie had three straight to close within 38-37 on another Perry hoop.

Jones again converted two free throws only to be answered by a hoop from Zahkeya Morris. Jones, however, scored again from the floor and the Lady Bears led 42-39.

A three-pointer from Ayanna Wilson, however, erased Bertie’s deficit and tied the game at 42-all with 2:29 to play in the contest.

The Lady Falcons went to three free throw line twice and made three of the shots (two by Morris and one by Ebonie Perry) to take a 45-42 lead with 1:02 to play.

Jones hit a bucket and a pair of free throws to push the Lady Bears ahead 46-45 with just over 30 seconds to play in the game.

Wilson was fouled and went to the free throw line where she converted one shot and tied the game at 46-all with 11 seconds to play.

An HCHS turnover gave the Lady Falcons the ball back at midcourt, setting up the final whistle.

“I tell ya, I owe that man up there, I give all praises to Him,” Lyons said afterward.

She said her team was limited to one practice during the week leading up to the contest.

“We didn’t practice but one day this week,” she said. “Did you hear me? We practiced yesterday (Thursday), but that’s the only practice we had. And we had to come in here and fight like that? I’m going to go in here (the locker room) and tell my girls how much I appreciate them.”

Frederes said he knew both teams were tight, but that he was proud of his team.

“In an atmosphere like this, when you have a lot of fans and a lot of energy, I think both teams were feeling the pressure a little bit,” he said. “It’s a shame that it has to come down to foul shots. I thought both teams played hard, both teams played well.

“It was a good game; unfortunately we didn’t come out on top,” he closed.

Bertie got out of the gate well, hitting the first six points of the contest on hoops by Morris, Wilson and Warren. The Lady Bears came back on a 6-2 spurt with buckets by Brandi Burden and Briante Bond and two Burden free throws.

The Lady Falcons led 10-8 after one quarter, but HCHS tied the game early in the second period on a bucket by Jones.

The teams tied again at 12 before Montreshia Perry and Morris had back-to-back hoops to make it 16-12. The Lady Falcons eventually led 23-18 late in the period.

HCHS responded over the closing minute of the first half, however, when Bond buried a triple and Burden added a field goal to tie the game at 23-all at half time.

The game stayed close until midway of the third quarter when the Bears had a 7-0 spurt that gave them a 32-26 edge with 1:02 to play in the third quarter. Jones, Burden and Takia Williams all had scores on the spurt.

Wilson, however, got the final hoop of the third period to close the gap to four and set up the final period.

Wilson led the Lady Falcons with 15 points while Morris added 11 and M. Perry had 10.

Jones paced HCHS with a game-high 16 points while Burden added 10, Bond had nine and Sherniece Futrell had eight.

The win boosts Bertie to 6-0 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference and 13-2 overall. They will host First Flight High School Friday.

The loss dropped the Lady Bears to 8-5 overall and 3-1 in the league. They will host Edenton on Friday.

(Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Sports Writer Gene Motley contributed to this story.)