Bears survive in OT

Published 5:36 pm Monday, December 12, 2011

AHOSKIE – Jquwan Ruffin scored 33 points for Hertford County Friday night.

The Bears needed almost every one of them as they shook off a slow start and topped Edenton 71-68 in overtime. The win gave the Bears a 1-0 mark early in the Northeastern Coastal Conference wars.

The Aces sent the game into overtime with just six ticks left on the regulation clock, but Hertford County sealed the win at the free throw line with four seconds to play in overtime.

Ruffin started the extra session with a three-pointer that gave the Bears the lead for good.

Junior Barrow, who poured in 22 points to share scoring honors for his team with Daquan Horton, answered with a bucket, but Ruffin hit from behind the arc again to give the Bears a 66-62 edge.

That triple was the last time either team would score from the floor as Edenton hit 6-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch while the Bears went 5-for-6 to claim victory. Wayne Simmons was the one who hit the final two shots at the charity stripe to establish the 71-68 win.

While the Bears finished on top, it was the Aces who came out on fire. Edenton scored six of the first eight points answered only by a Jarrett Sexton bucket to lead 6-2.

The visiting squad eventually got their margin up to 12-6 on a three-pointer from Chaqwan Martin, but the Bears began to chip away at their deficit.

Ruffin hit a three-pointer before Brian Beale scored to close to within 12-11. Edenton, however, scored the final five points of the first quarter to lead 19-14 after one period of play.

Kye Pendleton started the second quarter with a hoop for the Aces, but Shabazz Atkins answered for the Bears. The two teams exchanged hoops again before Beale and Sexton had consecutive shots to close to within 25-20.

Deshon Fleming stopped the spurt for the Aces, but Atkins had a free throw and a bucket while Ruffin scored from the floor as well to get the Bears to within two (27-25) at the intermission.

Edenton threatened to run away with the contest when the third quarter began. The Aces scored nine straight, spurred by a Treyan Jackson three-pointer and four points from Barrow as they led 36-25.

Hertford County didn’t score until the 3:30 mark of the period, but Ruffin sparked a 6-0 spurt when he did score. Dorrien Askew and Beale added the other four points as the Bears got within 36-31.

The advantage stayed basically the same until Kevin Priovtt hit the final shot of the third quarter to close the gap to 41-38 heading into the fourth period.

Ruffin started the quarter with a bucket that closed the gap to one, but Edenton rolled off six in a row to take a five-point edge.

Beale then responded with four straight before the teams exchanged scores, leaving the Aces ahead 49-46.

Edenton got seven unanswered with Barrow leading the way as the lead ballooned to 56-46 with just over three minutes to play.

The Bears – and particularly Ruffin – were not out of it, however. Ruffin hit a hoop and then buried three straight three-pointers to lead the Bears from 10 down all the way to a one-point lead with 1:33 remaining.

Ruffin then hit 3-of-4 from the line to give the Bears a 60-58 lead with 22 seconds to play. That set up Barrow’s shot with six seconds that sent the game to overtime.

In addition to Ruffin’s 33, the Bears got 14 from Beale and eight from Sexton. Privott added five while Simmons had four. Atkins and Askew scored three each and Maurice Earley added one point.

Hertford County improved to 3-2 overall.