HCHS boys survive

Published 2:51 pm Monday, December 17, 2012

AHOSKIE – It took a last-minute rally.

Northampton County High School and Hertford County High School saw their varsity boys team locked in an epic battle here Friday night.

Each team had chances to put the other away, but neither could. In the end, the Bears scored the final six points of the night to upend Northampton 46-42 in a non-conference outing.

Jquwan Ruffin led the Bears with 15 points while Ryan Weaver was also in double digits with 13. Ketrell Miles led all scorers with 16 for the Jaguars with Travis Wiggins adding an even dozen.

The fourth quarter started with the Jaguars ahead 33-29, but the Bears quickly erased the deficit. Weaver hit a triple followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Ruffin as HCHS surged ahead 38-33. Jemel Monger added a bucket to give the Bears a seven-point edge.

Northampton wasn’t done, however, as Montrae High started a 9-0 run for the Jaguars. Miles hit successive hoops before Barkim Moses buried a three to make it 42-40 in favor of the visitors with 1:30 to play.

Weaver, however, scored with one minute to play to tie the game and then found the net again with 20 ticks left on the clock.  Ruffin sealed the win with his score with five seconds to play.

“We came out sluggish in the first half,” HCHS Head Basketball Coach Charles Simmons said. “We fell behind by 10 points in the third quarter. We had great effort and did enough to get back in the game and take the lead.

“In the fourth quarter, we got down again and still managed to come back and win,” he added. “I am proud of this team. This was a good win, but now we have to learn from our mistakes.”

The Bears got the first points of the game on a Weaver triple, but Northampton owned the rest of the period as they rolled off 10 unanswered points thanks to a four-spot from Wiggins.

Maurice Earley was able to keep the Bears close with a three-point play near the end of the period to make it 10-6.

Northampton maintained the advantage through the second quarter, using a 5-0 run midway through the period to make it 17-10.

HCHS, however, scored the final five points of the quarter on a Weaver triple and a Ruffin hoop to close the gap to 23-19 at the intermission.

Ruffin scored to open the second half, but Northampton answered with seven straight points to take a 30-21 edge.

The Bears got a bucket from Jarrett Sexton to stop the run, but a triple by Wiggins pushed Northampton ahead by double digits (33-23).

Hertford County did score the final six points of the quarter thanks to a Ruffin triple and a bucket by Monger as well as a free throw from Earley as they closed the gap to four heading into the final quarter.

The win boosted the Bears to 3-4 overall as they head into the first night of Northeastern Coastal Conference play tonight (Tuesday) when they host Northeastern High School.