Falcons pound Panthers

Published 8:58 am Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WINDSOR – Playing without senior pivot man Malik Williams – out a few weeks with a knee sprain – Bertie High used their perimeter game to subdue rival, Pasquotank, and win the opening game of 2A Northeastern Coastal Conference action, 65-54.

Williams was lost to the team when he sprained his knee on the final play of Tuesday night’s last-second win over Weldon. He was on the bench on crutches cheering on his teammates.

Jamal Perry led Bertie with 15 points while Chisom Watson had ten. Jamond Oatman and Malik Halfacre had nine apiece for Pasquotank as Bertie fell behind early before storming back to take an impressive win.

“Our solid defense in the second quarter helped us control the game for the most part,” said second-year Falcon coach, Kelvin Hayes.

“We’ve just got to learn not to be anxious when we get a lead, but it’s good to start the conference in first place,” he added. “Let’s hope we finish up there.”

The Panthers came out fired up against the soft zone of the Bertie defense, bombing away with a couple of three-pointers and other jump shots to take a ten point first quarter lead over the home team, 12-2.  Bertie got its first field goal with three-and-a-half minutes left in the period, and the Falcons closed with a 7-3 run, mostly on the backs of their outside shooters to trail 17-11 after the first eight minutes of play.

After closing the first quarter with an Archie Wesson three-pointer, Bertie opened the second when Shyki Mitchell drained another trey. It was the start of an 11-0 Falcon run that upped Bertie from six-down to a five-point lead, 22-17, and had Panther coach Ray Burnham burning a time-out.  It didn’t help the Pasquotank offense as they got just a free throw and watched Bertie put up nine more in a row to stretch the Falcon lead to 31-18.  Bertie then began to attack the basket, starting a parade to the free-throw line where they made 10-of-14 and closed out the quarter with a 15-point lead, 41-26.

Perry got his final field goal of the game as the first Bertie points of the third quarter, but it was now his teammates turn to get hot. The Falcons spread the scoring around, and more importantly, controlled the backboard with their superior rebounding. Despite Pasquotank cutting it to ten, 53-43, the Falcons were still in front by a dozen, 55-43, as the third quarter came to a close.

The two teams played an even fourth quarter, though the Panthers could never get their deficit below ten points. Balanced scoring for the home team was the rule when the horn sounded and the Falcons had claimed the 11-point win.

Bertie (6-1, 1-0, NCC) hosts Edenton Holmes Tuesday night in Windsor before their first conference road game Friday night at Currituck.