Hertford County falls in semis

Published 11:20 am Wednesday, January 2, 2019

AHOSKIE – Washington County shook off a sluggish first quarter and re-grouped to mount a comeback that propelled them to a76-69 win vs. host Hertford County and into tonight’s (Saturday’s) boy’s championship game of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament.

The Panthers came from 16 points down to win a date against Bertie High in the title tilt. It’s the former Plymouth High School’s second straight year of going for it all in the clash for the trophy. They will face a Falcons squad seeking their second title in four years.

The Bears opened the game on a 7-0 run with their up tempo style that thrilled the mostly partisan overflow crowd. That fast start was part of a 16-4 run that grew to a 16-point lead (22-6). But Washington County attacked the basket, trying to rattle the young Hertford County frontcourt, sending the Panthers to the free-throw line, part of an 8-2 scoring comeback that had them trailing by ten after the first quarter, 24-14.

But as hot as Hertford County was in the first period, the second quarter belonged to the Panthers. Washington County surrendered a free throw early in the frame to trail by 11 before an 11-2 run got them within a pair at 27-25. Following a lay-up by Bears freshman guard Keondre Rodgers –whose total 20 point effort marked his sixth double-figure game – the Panthers scored four more and secured a tie score, 29-29 with 2:48 to go in the half.  It was tied once again at 31-all before a late basket sent Washington County to the locker room with its first lead of the night by a pair, 33-31, at halftime.

A lay-up and burying a three-pointer staked the Panthers to a seven point lead 38-31 coming out of the mid-break. It was that same margin, seven points, at 43-36, when Cedez Norman ignited the Panthers by making two-of-three field goals in a 6-0 run that upped the lead to 13, 49-36. With their veteran front line taking over inside, Washington County was able to prevent Hertford County from ever getting a run going.; but the Bears managed to creep within six points before settling back to trailing 56-47 after the third.

The Bears came out in the fourth quarter and matched the Panthers shot-for-shot, which electrified the crowd, but didn’t erase their double-digit deficit.  Hertford County cut the lead to eight, and finally to six on an Avery Hoggard three-pointer. But a 7-to-3 run got the Panther lead back up to 10 again, 72-62.

The clock ticked down, but any option of a Bears’ comeback began to fade. Hertford County’s last push came at the end when they outscored Washington County 7-to-4 before the horn sounded signaling a seven point win for the Panthers.


Quymel Chesson-22, Cedez Norman-21, Clantrez Taylor-10, Omar Harris-9, De’Andre Downing-8, Kevon Burnette-4, Calvin Singleton-2.


Keondre Rodgers-20, Jaheim Wiggins-13, Avery Hoggard-10, Karon Nowell-9, Quinton Wright-8, Michale Cooper-4, Dylan Askew-3, Ta’ric Raynor-2.