Bears claw Patriots, move to Eastern quarterfinals

Published 1:37 pm Saturday, March 2, 2024

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AHOSKIE – Thanks to a balanced offense and a stingy defense, Hertford County’s varsity boys have earned a spot in the Eastern quarterfinals of the NCHSAA Class 2A Basketball Tournament.

Friday, the Bears placed four starters in double figures while holding Franklin Academy to more than 20 points below their season average en route to a 73-41 win over the Patriots in the second round of the state playoffs.

The win advances the seventh-seeded Bears (21-8 overall) to a March 5 meeting at #2 Goldsboro.

With Jayden Robinson scoring eight of his game-high 16 points in the first quarter, HCHS held a 17-14 advantage after the opening eight minutes of play.

Robinson’s hot start carried over the to the early stages of the second period where he and Shimere Garris connected on back-to-back baskets, allowing the Bears to pad their lead to 21-14.

After a hoop from Franklin Academy’s Hayes Lewis, the Bears went on a 9-0 run that started with a three-pointer by Tyrone Ruffin Jr. By the time Keveon Rodgers, Zhae’twan Wells, and Robinson scored from the field, HCHS had nearly doubled their lead at 30-16.

The Bears led 34-23 at halftime.

Franklin Academy got as close as nine (36-27) in the early stages of the third quarter. Garris pushed the lead back to double digits with his three-pointer. Rodgers and Robinson followed with back-to-back baskets for a 43-27 lead.

Later in the quarter, Ruffin and Rimiez Williams each finished off old-fashioned three-point plays, allowing the Bears to build a 51-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

A deuce and a trey from Williams plus a pair of baskets by Rodgers highlighted a 14-4 run to open the final period where the Bears saw their lead grow to 65-36, prompting coach Charles Simmons to pull his starters.


Hertford County (73)

Jayden Robinson – 16, Rimiez Williams – 14, Shimere Garris – 11, Keveon Rodgers – 10, Tyrone Ruffin Jr. – 8, JaeMarien Harrell – 4, Raymond Lewter – 4, Nathaniel Harrell – 2, Zhae’twan Wells – 2, Ja’Marcus White – 2.


Franklin Academy (41)

Hayes Lewis – 8, Micah Rutledge – 7, Jaden Lewis – 6, Tyler Pace – 6, Julian Young – 6, Bradley Guillaume – 3, Johnathan Sawyer – 3, Sam Artz – 2.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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