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HCHS wins league title

AHOSKIE – Hertford County High School has claimed its normal place.

Tuesday night the Bears dropped Currituck County High School 74-39 and in so doing earned their second straight Northeastern Coastal Conference championship.

“I feel good for our kids being conference champions,” HCHS mentor Charles Simmons said. “We worked hard all season and it paid off.”

All 11 Hertford County players scored during the victory over the Knights. The win pushed HCHS to 18-3 overall and 11-0 in the league. They have one contest left in the regular season – Friday at Bertie High School.

Heading into Tuesday’s contest, the Bears knew they just need a win over the Knights to earn the conference crown and they made sure that happened early on.

Brian Beale started the Bears off with a quick hoop, but Greg Farr answered with a three-pointer for the Knights. Currituck would never lead again.

Shabazz Atkins came back to score for HCHS, sparking a 6-0 run with other scores coming from Beale and Wayne Simmons.

The Knights then got a free throw off the hands of Nigel Powell to close the gap to 8-4.

Hertford County responded with back-to-back buckets from Willie Bass and Beale before Farr hit another triple to close the gap back to 12-7.

On the other end of the floor, it was Dwight Vaughan who buried a three to answer Currituck, starting a 12-0 run to close out the quarter.

Simmons and Atkins had consecutive hoops before Vaughan scored again from behind the arc as Hertford County led 22-7. Jquwan Ruffin scored the final two points of the quarter at the free throw line, giving the Bears a 24-7 lead.

Maurice Early started the second quarter with another HCHS hoop before Farr and Ruffin exchanged shots three-point land to make it 29-10.

The Knights battled back and closed the gap to 36-18 with just minutes to play in the quarter, but the Bears again roared back. Beale, Atkins and Vaughan had successive hoops to close out the first half with Hertford County holding a dominating 42-18 advantage.

Any thoughts of a second half comeback for Currituck were erased quickly as Bass, Simmons and Vaughan started the quarter with consecutive hoops to give the home team a 48-18 lead.

They went on to hold a 60-28 cushion by the end of the third quarter and never looked back.

Ruffin led the Bears with 17 points during the contest while Simmons chipped in an even dozen. Beale and Vaughan rounded out those in double digits with 10 each.

While pleased with the conference championship, Simmons was quick to say he didn’t want his team resting on their laurels.

“I want us to stay focused, win the next game and get ready for the conference tournament and state playoffs,” he said.