Northeastern edges Hertford Co.

Published 5:33 pm Friday, February 18, 2011

ELIZABETH CITY – Northeastern High School stopped Hertford County’s bid for a second straight Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament final.

The Lady Eagles stopped HCHS 57-54 in the semifinal held here Wednesday night and advanced to Friday’s finale against defending NCC tournament champion Bertie High School.

Gabby Griffin scored 19 points and Darrin Cole added 17 as Northeastern topped HCHS. Camaryn Jones paced the Lady Bears with 15 points while Brandi Burden added 12 and Briante Bond chipped in 11.

The contest went right down to the wire, with Hertford County trailing by a single point with 30 seconds to play. Jones hit a hoop that made it 53-52 in favor of Northeastern.

The Lady Eagles, however, hit four straight free throws – all off the hands of Cole – and led 57-52 before Sherniece Futrell scored a late hoop.

In the early going, the two teams were tied several times.

Jones and Bond hit back-to-back buckets midway through the first period to push HCHS ahead 10-8, but Griffin scored and Cole had a triple that gave Northeastern a 13-10 lead.

Burden closed out the first period with a score that closed the gap to 13-12.

A three-pointer from Takia Williams vaulted the Lady Bears ahead 15-13 early in the second quarter. After an exchange of free throws, however, Griffin hit two shots and added a free throw to give the Lady Eagles a 19-16 advantage.

Jones and Bond, however, scored consecutive buckets to help HCHS forge back ahead. The lead didn’t last, however, as Griffin and Cole did the same for the Eagles.

A pair of late free throws by Jones helped Hertford County cut the deficit to 23-22 lead at the intermission.

The Lady Bears started well in the third quarter when Burden scored and Williams buried a triple to give HCHS a 27-23 lead.

Northeastern, however, scored five straight – all coming from Griffin – as they surged back ahead 28-27.

The Lady Bears responded with a triple from Williams and a free throw by Bond as they retook the lead 31-28.

The teams exchanged hoops before Northeastern got back-to-back buckets from Cole and Jasmine Nixon to take a one point lead.

Hertford County, however, outscored the Eagles 4-2 in the final minutes of the third quarter to tie the game at 37-all by the end of the quarter.

Northeastern started quickly in the fourth, scoring 12 of the first 17 points to take a 49-42 lead.

Hertford County was resilient, however, as a three-point play by Jones sparked an 8-0 run for the Bears that gave them a 50-49 edge. Futrell and Burden also scored on the streak.

Shadequa Gray then scored for Northeastern and Brandi Williams hit 2-of-2 from the free throw line to give the Eagles a 53-50 lead with 42 seconds left. That set up Jones’ late bucket before the Eagles held on for the win.

The loss dropped the Lady Bears to 15-8 overall this season. They will be back in action next week in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs.