Hertford County rolls in round one

Published 12:24 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2012

AHOSKIE – The Hertford County High School Bears recorded win number 20 Monday.

HCHS defeated visiting Southern Vance High School 72-45 to secure a win in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs and claim win number 20 in 24 starts this season.

Brian Beale led the Bears with 15 during the outing. He was one of four HCHS players to hit double figures with Wayne Simmons adding 14, Jquwan Ruffin scoring 12 and Shabazz Atkins hitting for 11.

Southern Vance was paced by 10 points each from E.J. Miles and Malik Roberson.

The third-seeded Bears wasted little time putting away their visitors. Hertford County scored 13 of the first 15 points of the game and never looked back.

Willie Bass got the first hoop for HCHS and was followed by a Roberson bucket, but the Bears rolled off 11 unanswered. Ruffin started the spurt with a hoop before Atkins buried a three-pointer. Beale scored again before Ruffin hit from behind the arc.

Simmons closed out the spurt with a free throw that made it 13-2.

Southern finally got a score from Reggie Hunter at the free throw line, but Bass and Ruffin combined for six straight and HCHS led 19-5. The two teams exchanged hoops before the quarter ended and the Bears headed to the second period with a 21-5 lead.

Dwight Vaughan started the second quarter scoring for the Bears before Southern got hoops from Miller Allen and Miles. Beale then hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe and Vaughan made two from the same location to give the Bears a 26-9 lead.

The two teams exchanged shots with Roberson scoring the final hoop of the first half and getting the Raiders within 38-22.

The third quarter started with a hoop from Atkins and a free throw from Bass to make it 42-22, but Southern responded with a Roberson free throw.

The Bears then put away any thoughts of a comeback by going on a 10-2 run that eventually pushed their advantage to 51-27.

Bass started the spurt before Beale sandwiched shots around a bucket by Allen. Kevin Privott and Atkins closed out the spurt with back-to-back hoops.

Southern tried to rally with a 6-0 response, but Hertford County scored the final two hoops of the third period thanks to Beale and Maurice Earley and led 55-33 heading into the final quarter.

Southern closed the gap to 58-39 thanks to a 6-3 spurt, but the Bears put them away by going on a 10-0 run that made it a 29-point game. Simmons had a deuce and a triple during the run while Ruffin added a three-pointer and Atkins a field goal.

Those were enough to put the game away for the Bears.

The win sent HCHS to the second round of the playoffs where they hosted Southern Nash High School Wednesday night. That game finished too late for press time.