Bear-ing down

Published 9:32 pm Monday, December 22, 2014

AHOSKIE – Overcoming a 14-point deficit, the Hertford County girls basketball team picked up a gut-check win Friday night as the Lady Bears opened Northeastern Coastal Conference play with a 56-55 win over Northeastern High School here Friday night.

Kyara Rodgers scored 24 points to lead all scorers, 19 of those coming in the second half.  Keshonda Roberson added 10 and Ashonta Basnight had nine. Tytionnia Smith had five with Ariana Vinson and Tamara Chamblee adding four apiece.

Breanna Proctor led a trio of Northeastern players in double-figures with 16.

Down four with six seconds left, Rodgers drained a three-pointer to pull Hertford County within one.  Basnight was then fouled on a Northeastern miss and with four seconds left she hit both free throws with the Bears in the double-bonus for what proved to be the game winner.

“We settled down in the second half,” said Hertford County coach Sha-Teisa Sharpe. “Ashonta made two big free throws there in the end.  This was a good way to start conference play.”

Rodgers opened the game with a three-pointer for Hertford County’s first lead, 3-2.  She then made a short jump shot for a 5-4 score and the Lady Bears’ last lead before the end of the game.  Northeastern went on an 11-2 run and staked themselves to a 15-7 lead.  The Bears got a three-point play from Smith and a free throw from Roberson to only trail 15-11 after one period of play.

Another Roberson free throw early in the second quarter got the Bears within one at 15-14, but the Eagles went on a 15-2 run for a 30-16 lead before Roberson scored on a put back.  Northeastern got one more field goal for a 32-18 halftime lead of 14 points.

Hertford County erased part of the Eagles’ lead with an 8-0 run to open the second half.  The teams then matched buckets and it was an eight-point lead with a minute to play in the third, 44-36.  The Bears got four of the period’s final five points to trail 45-40 entering the fourth quarter.

After building their lead to as many as seven it was a baseline lay-up by Smith and a short jump shot from Rodgers with two-and-a-half minutes left that tied the score at 48-48.  Hailey Jump responded with a three-pointer for Northeastern and a pair of free throws pushed the lead back to five points in just 15 seconds. Both teams began to foul, Hertford County to stop the clock and draw closer, but drew no closer; down five with a minute left to play.   That’s when Rodgers made one-of-two foul shots as time ticked down.  When it got under ten seconds, the game-winning heroics took over.

The Bears raised their record to 3-2 and open league play at 1-0.  After the News-Herald Holiday Classic later this week, Hertford County will resume conference action hosting Currituck on Jan. 6.