HCMS places second in Coastal Athletic tourney

Published 3:50 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

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GATESVILLE – Hertford County Middle School’s boys basketball team placed second in the Coastal Athletic Conference tournament, dropping a close 45-42 decision against Chowan Middle School here Monday.

Hertford County Middle School center Kamarz Chamblee (#12) rises above the Chowan Middle School defense to score a basket in Monday’s tournament championship game. Contributed Photo

The tournament’s semifinals and finals were held at Central Middle School in Gates County.

The Bears came out in attack mode, forcing four early turnovers and took a 5-0 lead before the Bulldogs scored.

After several steals from Jae’Marien Harrell, the first quarter ended with the Bears leading 12-10.

After some foul trouble, Jalen Palmer came into the game and hit a crucial three-pointer to stop a 7-0 run by the Bulldogs.

Bears center KaMarz Chamblee muscled his way through the defense to have nine first half points along with eight rebounds.

HCMS trailed 26-20 at halftime.

Led by Harrell and Josiah Powell, the Bears started the second half with a 10-0 run only to be stopped by a hasty timeout from the Bulldogs. The Bears now had a 32-26 lead and were in control of the game.

The Bulldogs came back to narrow the score 32-30 to end the third quarter.

With three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Chamblee scored a pivotal layup to make the score 35-34. The score continued to go back and forth. After another score from Chamblee and Harrell, the Bears took a 39-38 lead. The Bulldogs answered with two free throws to regain the lead at 40-39.

Powell stole the ball and scored to put HCMS on top 41-40 with 42 seconds left in the game.

The Bulldogs answered with a layup, allowing Chowan Middle to retake the lead at 42-41.

Each team added a single free throw, which made the score 43-42 in the Bulldogs favor.

The Bears forced a late turnover with 11 seconds left, but were unable to convert that into points and Chowan Middle sealed the win.

Chamblee led the Bears with 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. Harrell added 10 points to go along with eight steals and five assists. Palmer pitched in five points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

HCMS reached the tournament championship game by defeating rival Bertie Middle School, 39-35, during Saturday’s semifinal round.

This much anticipated game was close from beginning to end.

Bertie jumped out to an early 8-0 first quarter lead. After a timeout, the Bears rallied with a 12-0 run, ending the first quarter with a 12-8 lead.

In the second quarter, the game became a back and forth battle leading to a halftime score of 26-24.

The Bears fell behind to start the second half, ending the 3rd quarter with a score of 32-28.

HCMS found another level of intensity and turned up the pressure on defense in the fourth quarter where the Bears forced seven turnovers. Harrell made five crucial free throws to put the game away.

Powell led Hertford County Middle School with 11 points, five steals, and two assists. Harrell finished with 10 points, nine assists, and seven steals. Chamblee also struck for double figures with 10 points while hauling down eight rebounds. Palmer added eight points, four rebounds, and two steals.