WINDSOR – UNC and Kentucky weren’t the only teams to both top 100 points this past weekend.
Bertie High School, in their first ever game where they – and an opponent – BOTH topped the century mark, the Falcons made good use of all that firepower as they downed First Flight 120-107 for the first win ever for first-year coach Derrick Bond.
Seven Falcon players scored in double-figures led by Quatravis Riddick with 26. In fact, the only Bertie players who scored were in double digits. Riddick also had nine rebounds and 11 steals.
“I don’t know what to say,” said an excited Bond afterward. “They earned this, they needed this. No matter how hard you practice it still comes down to how hard you play when it’s on the line.”
The Nighthawks did more than put Bertie on the line; they had the Falcons on the ropes in this bird battle, mainly thanks to their spot-on three-point shooting. First Flight made 28-of-61 three-pointers from beyond the arc. Bertie only made five all night – one in the second half.
“We just couldn’t get them to turn it over,” lamented First Flight coach Chad Williams. “You give up 120 points you’re not going to beat anybody.”
The Nighthawks scored 31 points in the first quarter; all but two free throws and one lay-up were on shots from behind the arc. Still, Bertie persisted, despite early foul trouble and only trailed 31-24 after the first.
The raining of treys continued in the second quarter, accounting for FFHS’s next dozen points. Bertie, however, countered with their inside game, particularly from six-nine freshman center Jaqwan Baylor, who at one point scored eight of the Falcons 15 points underneath in the paint. Baylor’s last field goal, and Bertie’s only ‘three’ of the quarter off the fingertips of freshman Alden Cottle, helped get the Falcons within two, 46-44. Bertie then cranked up their transition game and began asserting itself on the boards. A couple of put-backs had the Falcons tied, then in front, 48-46, but First Flight coaxed two more ties thanks to free throws and the first half ended all-square at 51-51.
Neither team was able to get a run going for the early part of the third quarter. First Flight seized the early lead, this time relying on more on an inside game and taking an eight-point lead, 67-59. But then Bertie started getting stops and once again fed Baylor inside. At the 2:28 mark it was tied for the fourth time on the night, 67-all; then on a steal and lay-up by Jeremiah Morris, Bertie led 69-71 and never trailed again. They built their margin up to six points, 79-83, at the end of the third.
A pair of free throws got the Nighthawks within four, 79-75, but then Bertie ramped up the pressure, got turnovers they converted into lay-ups, and soon were up by a dozen, 87-75. First Flight didn’t relent with the three-pointers, but couldn’t keep pace with the Falcons in transition. At the 4:22 mark, Bertie got its 100th point on a Zackias Williams lay-up. They would score only four more field goals the rest of the night. At 1:49 the Nighthawks had hit a hundred thanks to a three-pointer, but trailed 112-101. Bertie stayed ahead by at least 10 points before the horn sounded on a 13-point win on this historic, record-setting scoring night.
“We’ll enjoy it for now,” smiled Bond. “Then after our next game it’s going to have to be four good hard days of practice leading up to Christmas.”
Bertie (1-7, 1-2, NCC) played South Creek Monday in a game not complete by press time. They’ll next appear in the News-Herald Holiday Classic next week against an opponent to be determined.
FIRST FLIGHT (107)
Dylan Blake-39, Reese Jones-30, Devyn Dodson-13, Tyler High-11, Jordan High-6, Blaiz Rodman-3, Greayson Bell-3, Cole Basnight-2.
Quatravis Riddick-26, Jaqwan Baylor-21, Jamarri White-20, Joshua Burden-17, Zackias Williams-14, Alden Cottle-12. Jeremiah Morris-10.