Bears win state playoff opener
AHOSKIE – Except for a few tense minutes in the fourth quarter, Hertford County was totally in command of their first-round game in the NC High School Athletic Association 2A boys basketball playoffs.
Talik Totten recaptured his scoring touch and torched the Cavaliers for 24 points to lead all scorers, while Nasia McAdoo was top points man for Cummings with 18 in the 82-76 Hertford County victory here Tuesday night.
“This was a very good opening round win,” said Bears head coach Charles Simmons. “We still have to have everybody ready to play.”
Totten definitely came ready to play. The senior swingman drained his first jump shot and was off and running – literally – from there. Hertford County scored 10 of the first 13 points of the contest, four from Michale Cooper. Cummings whittled the Bear lead down to four (15-11) before Cooper and Totten scored the last four for a 21-13 Hertford County lead after the first quarter.
The Bears pushed that lead to 11 (24-13) before a trio of triples from Cavs shooters made it a more manageable 28-22 deficit. It was still a six-point lead when Totten drained his first trey followed by a pair of free throws from Jessie Sawyer. The Bear lead reached a dozen before a seven-point Cavalier run reduced it to a five-point lead and it was six-down for Cummings at halftime, 40-34.
The teams matched shots in the third quarter until Cummings went on an 8-0 run and tied it for the first time 53-all. But the Bears got two three-point plays, one with one-shot, the other the old-fashioned way to maintain a five-point lead headed to the fourth.
In the first four minutes of the final eight Cummings went on a 10-2 scoring binge that first tied the game, and then took their first lead, 65-62. But Totten and Lance Hunter scored on jump shots to put the Bears back on top, 66-65. The Cavaliers then drained a pair of foul shots to go back in front, 67-66 with four minutes left, but Cooper made a three-point play after being fouled on a lay-up and the Bears never trailed again. Zion Riddick scored on a lay-up off a Cavs turnover for Hertford County’s last field goal and by making 9-of-12 at the foul line, the Bears held off a Cummings comeback and closed it out with the six point win.
“At the end, we did what we had to do to survive and advance,” said Simmons.
Hertford County (16-10) travels to Robeson County tonight (Thursday) to face 27-1 Fairmont in the second round.
BURLINGTON CUMMINGS (76)
Nasia McAdoo-18, Auldon Edwards-16, Kemori Booth-15, Jackeem Herbin-14, Dimari Faucette-6, Cevion Lea-4, Jaquane Alston-3.
HERTFORD COUNTY (82)
Talik Totten-24, Zion Riddick-15, Michale Cooper-13, Jaheim Wiggins-8, Lance Hunter-8, Delmonta Cherry-5, Jessie Sawyer-4, Tristian Williams-3, Keshawn Taylor-2.