Bears bury Bertie
AHOSKIE – Jquwan Ruffin scored 24 points and led the Hertford County Bears to a comfortable win over their top rivals Friday.
Ruffin, Hertford County’s sophomore guard, was one of three Bears in double digits as HCHS improved to 12-3 overall and 5-0 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference with an 85-51 win over Bertie.
In addition to Ruffin, the Bears got double-digit scoring from Brian Beale (13) and Shabazz Atkins (11). Bertie was led by Malcolm Cherry’s dozen and 10 from Deshondre Day.
The game started as a close one with each team scoring 15 points in the first quarter. The Bears led 15-12 late in the period, but Tyhaun Moore scored a triple to tie the game.
Beale opened the second quarter with a three-point play and a field goal as the Bears pulled out to a five-point edge. Bertie roared back thanks to a Day hoop and a triple by Dreshawn Morris as they tied the game at 22-all.
Both teams found the net over the rest of the quarter with Hertford County eventually holding a 34-33 lead when the teams headed to the locker room at the intermission.
Once the third quarter started, however, the Bears took control. Atkins and Beale scored the first two hoops of the period and then Ruffin buried a three-pointer. Jarrett Sexton added a hoop and Hertford County pushed out to a 43-33 edge.
Cherry tried to keep the Falcons close as he scored three of the next five points, but HCHS rolled off seven straight thanks to hoops by Willie Bass and Atkins and a triple off the hands of Dwight Vaughan.
Shaquille White stopped the run with a hoop for Bertie, but Ruffin hit again from behind the arc and then Bass scored to close out the third period with the Bears holding a commanding 59-39 advantage.
Hertford County continued to pull away as the fourth quarter started.
Atkins hit the first hoop and then, following a Cherry three-point play for Bertie, Ruffin scored seven straight points of his own to give the Bears their biggest lead to that point at 68-42.
White again stopped the run, this time with a free throw, but the Bears came right back and never let the Falcons get the margin to less than 20.
In addition to those in double figures, Wayne Simmons had nine for HCHS while Bass had eight and Sexton seven. Bertie got eight from Raekwon Williams and seven from White.