Lady Bears inch closer

Published 11:59 am Monday, January 30, 2012

AHOSKIE – Inching ever closer.

Hertford County High School’s Lady Bears are doing just that lately – inching closer and closer to the league lead.

Friday, the Bears knocked off Northeastern High School 67-58 to avenge an earlier loss and pull into a tie with the Eagles for second place in the Northeastern Coastal Conference. They Bears are now just one game back of league-leader Pasquotank County High School.

Brandi Burden poured in 33 points and led three Bears in double figures in the victory. Sherniece Futrell dropped 19 points during the contest and Camaryn Jones scored 10.

Jasmine Nixon led the Northeastern attack with 19 points.

Hertford County trailed by six at the intermission (32-26) but roared back with a spurt during the opening minutes of the third quarter.

Burden started the spurt with a field goal but Futrell was the dominant force during the run, scoring a three-pointer, a field goal and a free throw to push the Bears ahead 34-32.

From there, both teams dug in for a fight. The lead changed several times over the next four minutes with the Bears coming back to take a two-point edge (44-42) thanks to a Casey Grant bucket at the end of the quarter.

HCHS dominated the opening of the fourth quarter just as they had in the third.

Jones started the period with a free throw followed by a Futrell bucket.

Sha’Niqua Gray scored for Northeastern, but the Bears came back with another Jones free throw and a Futrell hoop to take a 51-44 lead with 5:33 to play in the contest.

The Eagles battled to cut their deficit to four (55-51), but Burden hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line to push her team ahead 58-51 with two minutes to play.

The Eagles refused to concede, however, as Te’a Moore-Carver buried a three-pointer to close the gap back to four (58-54).

Hertford County went to the free throw line and buried nine free throws over the final two minutes and secured the victory.

In addition to those in double figures, the Bears got three from Vanessa Mitchell and two from Grant.

The victory moved Hertford County to 12-6 overall and 7-2 in the league. The Eagles dropped to 12-4 overall and 7-2 in the conference.