Bears win league opener in rout

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, December 17, 2013

AHOSKIE – Hertford County spotted First Flight the first two baskets of the game, then the Bears put on such an offensive showcase in a 74-47 win against the Nighthawks that coach Charles Simmons could rest his starters the entire fourth quarter.

Jquwan Ruffin poured in 29 points in just three quarters of play. 21 of those came in the first half, and then he opened the second half with a thunderous slam dunk that electrified the partisan Hertford County crowd.

Teammate Jarrett Sexton added ten while Ryan Weaver just missed double-figures with nine.

Aubrey Kitchen was leading scorer for First Flight with nine.

“This was a good opening conference win,” said veteran Hertford County coach Simmons. We started out sluggish in the first quarter, but picked it up defensively, and that helped us offensively.

“I was pleased with our effort,” he added. We had the opportunity to play everybody and that was good for the team.

Hertford County quickly erased a 4-0 First Flight lead in the first quarter thanks to a 12-2 run led by Sexton’s four points. It was 12-5 before Preston Askew finally hit another bucket for the Nighthawks.  Hertford County then went to sleep on defense and soon it was a two-point game, 17-15, before Juan Moody got a basket in the paint and Ruffin dropped a pair of free throws to make it 21-15, Bears, after one.

Ruffin got heated up in the second quarter, dropping two of his six three-pointers of the game back-to-back and giving the home team a ten-point lead, 27-17.  It was 27-21 when the Bears went on a 14-2 run thanks to four three-pointers in the frame, and the teams went to the break with Hertford County leading it, 41-23.

The third quarter opened with Ruffin being fouled on a vicious dunk and he made the free throw to complete the three point play; all part of a 10-0 Bear run to open the second half. It was 51-23 when First Flight scored a pair of field goals, but the Bear defense was just too much.  Ruffin opened the quarter with a dunk and he closed it out with a three-pointer, good for a 32-point Bear lead.

In the fourth quarter Simmons cleared his bench, giving a lot of first-year players some quality playing time.  They didn’t disappoint the coach getting the lead up to 35 points before slowing the game down.  The Nighthawks made a 10-2 run but they were just playing it out against the second and third strings. Marquise Clark closed the scoring for the night for HertfordCounty with a three-pointer, the team’s tenth of the game.

Hertford County (3-1, 1-0, NCC) played Princess Anne of Virginia Beach at home on Saturday with a return game in Virginia on Wednesday.  Their next conference game is Friday night in Elizabeth City against Northeastern.