Bears win conference championship
Published 2:15 pm Monday, February 14, 2011
AHOSKIE – A senior stood at the free throw line.
The game was tied. There were six ticks left on the clock.
On the line was a win over an arch rival and a league championship.
Dekimis Perry drained one of the two free throws and it was just exactly what Hertford County needed as the Bears edged rival Bertie 59-58 to claim the Northeastern Coastal Conference championship.
“We showed a lot of heart and determination tonight,” HCHS basketball boss Charles Simmons said after recording career victory number 503. “It was a great team effort.
“We came from behind and won a big game,” he added. “I am proud for this group of young men to win the conference championship.”
The game was one befitting a league championship and a battle of rivals with each team playing well and everyone leaving all they had on the floor.
Jordan Jones paced Hertford County’s attack with 18 points while Petey Boone chipped in 17. Dontez Tyler added eight while Jestin Thompson had seven.
Bertie’s Norman Cherry led all scorers with 22 points while Wykevin Bazemore had 14 and Dreyshawn Morris had 11.
Bertie started well, getting five of the first seven points thanks to early hoops by Morris and Cherry.
Jones then sparked a 7-2 run for the Bears that pushed HCHS ahead 9-7. Jones had four points on the spurt while Tyler added a free throw and Boone had a basket.
Bertie responded with six of the next seven points followed by a 7-0 run for the Bears.
When Reginald Lee hit a free throw to close out the quarter, it left HCHS with a 17-14 edge.
The Falcons quickly erased their deficit in the second period when Cherry had seven straight points followed by back-to-back hoops from Morris as they pulled ahead 23-17.
Boone cooled the run with a three-pointer and then, after a Bazemore free throw, hit another triple. Thompson then hit three free throws as Hertford County retook the lead at 26-24.
Cherry, however, put Bertie on his back and carried them back out in front with two free throws and a hoop that made it 28-26.
Thompson, however, scored the final hoop of the quarter to tie the game at 28-all heading into the half.
The game was still tied early in the third period when Bertie rolled off eight unanswered points. Malcolm Cherry had two of those scores while Bazemore had the other two to give Bertie a 40-32 edge.
Jones stopped the spurt with a hoop and a pair of free throws to close the gap to 40-36.
The teams exchanged hoops and the Falcons held a 43-40 lead heading into the final period.
The Bears rallied back in front thanks to a Perry hoop and a pair of Boone free throws, but Bertie wasn’t done yet. The Falcons used a 12-5 spurt to take a 57-52 lead with 1:50 remaining in the contest.
N. Cherry led the way on the run with seven points while Bazemore and M. Cherry also scored.
Jones then scored a three-point play with 1:38 to play to close the gap to two (57-55), but Bazemore hit 1-of-2 from the line to give Bertie a three-point edge.
Boone then tied the game with 1:09 to play by hitting a three-pointer.
Neither team was able to convert over the next minute, setting up the late free throw by Perry.
The win helped Hertford County finish 18-4 overall and 10-2 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference. The loss dropped the Falcons to 9-3 in the league.
The Bears won the title outright, despite being in a three-way tie heading into the final night of league play because they topped Bertie and Pasquotank beat Northeastern to knock the Eagles out of the title picture.