Bears blast Falcons

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WINDSOR – Even without leading scorer, Jquwan Ruffin who was bit by the flu bug, Hertford County still had enough firepower to remain atop the boys’ basketball standings in the Northeastern Coastal Conference Friday night after topping rival, Bertie, 69-52.  It was Hertford County’s fourth league win against no defeats. It was also the Bears’ tenth overall win of the season.

Sophomore Evan Simmons led a quartet of Bears in double figures with 16 points.  Jarrett Sexton poured in 15 while Ryan Weaver had 14 and Marquise Clark rounded it out with eleven.

Bertie’s Jamal Perry finished with 20 to lead all scorers.

“I was real pleased with how our whole team stepped up without Ruffin,” said Bears head coach Charles Simmons. “We played together offensively and defensively so this win will help us by knowing we can play without Ruffin.”

O’Shane Ximines scored down low with his back to the basket for Hertford County’s first points of the night and the normally perimeter-oriented Bears let the Falcons know that they were going to step it up in the paint this night.

After Perry scored on a breakaway for Bertie, Simmons drained first a three-pointer and then a long jump shot, both staking Hertford County to a 7-2 lead. The Bears then went on a scoring tear, outdueling the Falcons 16-6 for the rest of the first quarter; draining four three-pointers and getting three more the conventional way with a field goal coupled with a foul shot. Those 15 points helped the Bears to a 23-10 lead after the first eight minutes of the game.

Hertford County continued to pour it on the Falcons in the second quarter. This time they did it by attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line where they made six of ten. But that also didn’t stop their barrage of jump shots as they continued to rain-down over the Falcon defense. With four minutes to play until halftime the Bears had a 22-point lead, 33-11; and it was a 20-point bulge, 38-18, when the horn sounded ending the first half.

The teams matched baskets to begin the second half, which did little to help Bertie relieve the deficit. Hertford County resorted back to their perimeter, outside, game and kept a comfortable margin in, or near, the 20-point level from about one minute into the quarter.  With three minutes left it was a 46-24 lead, and at the two-minute mark the Bears had doubled-up the Falcons with a 24-point lead, 48-24.

Hertford County sensed they had put this one away early by the fourth quarter. Just one minute into the frame and they had built a lead of nearly thirty points at 58-30.  The Bear lead never fell below 20 points until there was less than three-and-a-half minutes left to play.  The Falcons re-grouped and stepped up with an 11-4 run that got it down to a 14-point game with two minutes remaining, 63-49, thanks to a pair of foul shots by Marquise Holley. However, Bertie could get no closer and fell to the Bears by 17 as the horn sounded to end the game.

“I was pleased with our effort tonight,” said Simmons at game’s end.

Bertie will host First Flight on Friday night in the Falcons’ only game of the week. Hertford County had a pair of home contests during the same time beginning with a Monday game with Pasquotank and closes out the week Friday against Edenton’s J.A. Holmes.

Hertford Co.  (69)

Evan Simmons-16; Jarrett Sexton-15; Ryan Weaver-14; Marquise Clark-11; Tyquan Davis-5; Jemel Monger-4; O’Shane Ximines-2; Darius Wright-2.

Bertie  (52)

Jamal Perry-20; Shyki Mitchell-8; Marquise Holley-7; Malik Williams-5; Tydre Lee;5; Chisom Watson-3; Donte Horton-2; Bobby Askew-2.