‘Silent’ Falcons top Pasquotank

Published 5:16 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

WINDSOR – Silence is golden, so they say, except when you really have to speak up.

Frustrated with his team’s erratic play in the first quarter, Bertie High boy’s basketball coach Lester Lyons spoke not a word to his team the entire first eight minutes.

But, with the game on the line in the closing seconds, Friday night his words came through loud and clear, helping the Falcons to a 62-59 win over Pasquotank.

With Bertie clinging to a one-point lead, 58-57, and a minute left to play, Marquee Outlaw grabbed an offensive rebound and shot a soft jumper over two Panther defenders for a three-point lead, 60-57.

Pasquotank got a bucket to pull back within one again before Norman Cherry III made two free throws with 18 seconds left.

Malcolm Cherry then got a steal, but was fouled. He missed both free throws, but another unlikely hero stepped up for the Falcons.

Dreshaun Morris would lead the Falcons in scoring with 18 points, including four three-pointers, and added four rebounds, but no carom was bigger than the one he grabbed with eight seconds left after the missed free throw to seal the win.

Norman Cherry added 16 while Wykevin Bazemore poured in 14. Malcolm Cherry had seven points and six assists.

Pasquotank’s Dilente Gallop led all scorers with 19.

The win put the Falcons into a tie for first place with Elizabeth City Northeastern in the Northeastern Coastal Conference with matching records of 7-2, a half-game ahead of Hertford County who has a make-up game yet to be played.

“We came out a little flat,” said a smiling Lyons after the game, “and my anger-management class tells me to not say anything so I tried to stay away from them because I was angry.

“I kinda let them coach themselves for a little bit,” he added, “because these are the types of things you’re going to have to go through if you want to be a playoff team. I felt like I didn’t need to speak to them; I felt they needed to grow. They got themselves back together, got back in the game, and to be a good team sometimes you have to do things like that.”

After the Panthers opened the game scoring the first two baskets, Bertie fought back and, with the score 4-3 Pasquotank, the Falcons took the lead on a Bazemore jump shot in the lane.

With Bertie up 7-5, the Panthers then rallied with two baskets from Gallop, including a three-pointer for a 10-7 margin.

They then outscored Bertie, 11-2, up until the horn to end the quarter ahead, 21-9.

Lyons ended his silence in the second quarter and the Falcons rallied.

Though they were behind by a dozen, they  cut it to seven, 23-12, before outscoring the Panthers 19-to-10 the rest of the half.

Bertie pulled within one twice in the closing minutes before settling on trailing, 33-31, at the break.

The third quarter was just as hotly contested, but Bertie was able to chip away due to Pasquotank foul trouble.

Panthers coach Ray Burnham shuffled his lineup to try and counter, but Bertie parried his moves offensively and defensively.

The Falcons took their first lead since the opening quarter when Morris hit a gawky, off-balance three-pointer to make it, 43-39, before Gallop came through again and it was. 43-41, Bertie, headed into the last frame.

Bazemore opened the quarter by wowing the crowd with a twisting layup in the lane over a defender and later made one of two free throws for a five-point Bertie lead, 48-43.  The Falcons then took their biggest of the night on a Morris fast-break layup off a steal.

But back came Pasquotank, outscoring Bertie, 7-2 and tying it at 50-all with four minutes to play. After a couple of lead changes it was again tied, 53-all.

Bertie pressed to get a couple of buckets off Panther turnovers; but there was Gallop, single-handedly keeping his team in the game and producing a third tie at 57 before a free throw with just over a minute to go led to the late-game heroics.

“He (Morris) had never scored on us like that before,” said a disappointed Burnham, shaking his head, “especially making all those three’s.

“That was a person we didn’t account for as far as scoring,” he added, “but we got complacent on defense, turned the ball over too much late, missed a chance to tie it in the end, and “The Unaccountable” (Morris) ended up making the difference.”