Twice as nice
AHOSKIE – Hertford County put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field here Tuesday night as they turned back Northeastern High – again in overtime – 75-73.
Zion Riddick paced the Bears with a career-high 25 points – 13 in the fourth quarter – while teammate Jaquarii Roberson had 18, including the game-winning free throws, and Talik Totten added a dozen. Taleik Overton was top point-producer for the Eagles with 19.
The Bears overcame a 19-point deficit to pull out the victory.
“This was a great team win,” said Bears coach Charles Simmons. “We had a good team effort just from believing we couldn’t lose. We didn’t give up when we got 19 down.”
After surrendering the game’s first five points, the Bears stormed back to lead 6-5. But Overton got a lay-up in the paint and the Bears never led again the rest of the period. They did scrap back – getting within a point on a three-pointer by Totten, 20-19, but trailed 25-19 after the first quarter.
Northeastern opened the second quarter on a 13-5 run, and it got no better for the Bears. A Roberson jump shot quelled the Eagles run, but Northeastern continued to pour it on, building a lead of as many as 19 (47-28) with five minutes left in the half before settling for a 47-33 lead at the mid-break.
An 8-2 run opened the second half for Hertford County, getting the home team within nine, 49-40. Northeastern was able to stretch it back out to five before Lance Hunter, Totten, and Riddick hit three jumpers back-to-back-to-back, allowing the Bears to only trail by nine (57-48) headed to the fourth quarter.
Hertford County looked doomed again, as the Eagles upped their lead to 11 points, 63-52, but no Bears fans headed for the exits. Good thing, too, because they would’ve missed Riddick almost single-handedly taking the team on his back and scored 11 of the Bears’ points, and all but 13 as his jump shot with :04 seconds left gave Hertford County their first lead since it was 5-0. However, Damar Sutton’s turnaround jump shot right at the buzzer sent the game into overtime, knotted 65-65.
After exchanging buckets early in the extra period, Roberson gave the Bears their next lead, 69-68. The Eagles then made three-of-five – first tying it at 69, then getting a two-point lead. But Roberson was fouled on the trip upcourt and he made both foul shots to tie it at 71-71. Riddick untied it with a jump shot for a 73-71 Bear lead, and then the Eagles’ Overton made a pair to make it 73-73. As time ticked away for both teams, Hertford County held for the last shot. But it would come down to Roberson being fouled and making both ends of the double-bonus with just one second on the clock. The Eagles tried a no-good desperation heave, and for the second time this season, the Bears had triumphed over the Eagles – again doing it in overtime.
“We showed a lot of heart, character, and discipline at the end of the game to win,” said Simmons.
Comfortable with a two-game lead over Northeastern (13-3; 5-2, NCC) in the standings, Hertford County (12-6; 7-0) will host Pasquotank tomorrow (Friday) night before welcoming Edenton Holmes to the Bear’s Den on Saturday.
Tyleik Overton-19, Damar Sutton-18, Clifford Shaw-17, Brian Jones-8, Garfield Brown-7, Jeromy Bailey-4.
HERTFORD COUNTY (75)
Zion Riddick-25, Jaquarii Roberson-18, Talik Totten-12, Lance Hunter-8, Rayshawn Beamon-6, Delmonta Cherry-4, Dunyasha Porter-2.