• 64°

Bears claw Panthers

AHOSKIE – Jaquarii Roberson exploded for 39 points as his Hertford County Bears won their eighth Northeastern Coastal Conference game, 74-63, over Pasquotank County.

Roberson, the league’s leading scorer at nearly 21 points per game, had 29 on his team’s 39 total points in the first half before he got 10 more in the second half for his career high. Jamontae Johnson had 21 points to lead Pasquotank.

“I was real pleased with the first half,” said Bears coach Charles Simmons. “We did a good job on defense by turning them over for easy baskets. However, we were flat in the second half, but we hung tough down the stretch for the win.”

Hertford County’s Jaquarii Roberson soars for a dunk in Friday night’s game against Pasquotank.  Roberson had a career-high 39 points – 29 in the first half – as the Bears won 74-63. | 2nd Chance Productions / Andre Alfred

Hertford County’s Jaquarii Roberson soars for a dunk in Friday night’s game against Pasquotank. Roberson had a career-high 39 points – 29 in the first half – as the Bears won 74-63. | 2nd Chance Productions / Andre Alfred

After spotting the Panthers a 3-0 lead, Roberson was fouled on a three-point shot and his free throws tied the game. The Bears went on from there to outscore the visitors 14-4 over the next six minutes – nine of those points scored by Roberson – including a rim-rattling dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. Pasquotank got one more field goal in the quarter before buckets by Lance Hunter and Zion Riddick gave Hertford County a 21-9 lead headed to the second quarter.

Dunaysha Porter got a field goal, but Roberson went high for a short jumper, and then stepped back for a trey, and the Bears had a 19 point lead, 28-9. Roberson hit his next three triples in a row, and was fouled – making both – to send his team into the locker room at halftime up, 39-21.

The third quarter opened with Roberson scoring a lay-up and a 20-point lead for the Bears, 41-21. The Bears’ defense got sloppy and sporadic in the frame, but Pasquotank could never get the lead below 20; and that’s the margin that stood at the end of the quarter, 58-38, Bears.

Hertford County’s defensive lapse almost became costly. Pasquotank refused to yield as the Bears began misfiring. The Panthers outscored the home team 13-4, and soon it was an eleven-point lead, 64-53. Rayshawn Beamon hit a bucket for the Bears and when Marcus Cowell answered for Pasquotank, it was suddenly a 10-point game, 66-56. Two free throws by Michael Cowell brought the Bears’ lead down to eight. But Hertford County righted the ship and doubled up the Panthers to close out with the 11-point victory; their eighth in conference.

The Bears had little time to savor the win as they played Edenton J.A. Holmes just one night later, on Saturday.

PASQUOTANK (63)

Jamontae Johnson-21, Corey Jackson-18, Michael Cowell-11, Marcus Cowell-7, Javon Cratch-3, Avyion James-2, Chris Hinmon-1.

HERTFORD COUNTY (74)

Jacquarii Roberson-39, Zion Riddick-16, Dunyasha Porter-8, Talik Totten-5, Rayshawn Beamon-4, Lance Hunter-2.