BHS boys break out the brooms

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

AHOSKIE – Slugfest.

With a capacity crowd looking on in the HCHS gym, one that included a former player, now an NBA star, Hertford County High and Bertie High slugged it out on the basketball floor Friday night. When the dust had settled the Falcons had prevailed by ten, 65-55, and finished the year with a season-sweep of their old rivals; securing second place in the Northeastern Coastal Conference race.

It was the Williams’ again: Malik with 15 points and Raekwon with 10 that led the Falcon surge. Shyki Mitchell finished with nine while Malcolm Cherry had eight.

Jquwan Ruffin led the Bear attack in a losing cause, and all scorers, with a 21 point effort while O’Shane Ximenes had 13.

Just before the opening tip-off, former Bertie High star, Kent Bazemore entered the gym to little fanfare, accompanied by his agent, Austin Walton. The current swingman for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors – at home for All-Star break – quickly took a seat amongst the Falcon faithful. With HCHS leading 4-3 early in the contest, Ruffin drained a long-range three-pointer for a 7-3 Bear lead. Back came Bertie with a five-oh run capped by a Shaquille White baseline lay-up and an 8-7 Falcons lead.

It was that kind of night. Ten lead changes, and that was just in the first eight minutes of play.

Holding a one-point edge, 20-19, Hertford County entered the second quarter going up by as many as four points before Bertie climbed back to lead, 27-25, on back-to-back three-pointers by Tyhaun Moore. But Ruffin quickly quieted the Falcon crowd with a three-pointer of his own putting the Bears back in front.

The Bears led by four twice, the last time at 35-31 before Mitchell scored twice for the Falcons , the last time draining a pair of free throws that tied it at 35-all. HerfordCounty got a Jarrett Sexton free throw just before the break and it put the Bears in front by one, 36-35, as the teams headed to the locker-rooms.

During the break Bazemore signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans. The Kelford native recently made a donation of sports apparel to the Bertie boys team. Bazemore closed out the weekend with more signing and posing back in Tidewater at OldDominionUniversity before returning to the Warriors for the second half of his inaugural NBA campaign.

As for the second half of the Falcons-Bears game, things continued to remain tight.  The game was tied three times in the third quarter and the lead see-sawed back-and-forth three more times, neither team able to lead by more than a single point, before a Raekwon Williams steal and lay-up gave Bertie a 44-43 lead. It was 47-45, Bertie, before Tyquan Davis hit a jumper at the top of the key for the final tie of the night 47-47. Bertie closed with a 5-2 run to lead it 52-49 entering the final quarter and the Falcons never trailed again.

The final stanza would belong to Bertie as the Falcon defense allowed just six Bear points and once they upped the lead to five, 57-52, they went into their famous stall game. HertfordCounty never recovered and Bertie took a ten-point victory.

Hertford County fell to 11-11 overall and 7-5 in NCC play while Bertie is 18-3 and 10-2 in the league. Tonight (Tuesday) the Bears will play Currituck at 4:30 p.m. at Bertie High in the first round of the NCC tournament. Bertie follows at 7:30 on their home floor against First Flight before the tournament moves to Elizabeth City for the rest of the week.