ROSE HILL — East Bladen raced out to a quick lead and barely looked back en route to a 71-36 thumping of Four County Conference foe Union in the third-place game of the Nathan Gay Holiday Tournament on Saturday.
The win improves the Eagles to 5-5.
East Bladen jumped out to a 14-2 lead behind a three-pointer and two steals by Farrell Murchison. Union answered with a 9-4 run that pulled the Spartans to within 18-11 going into the second stanza, but the Eagles answered with an 18-6 spurt to take a 36-18 lead late in the half.
Union finished the second quarter with a 5-0 run, but trailed by 36-23 at intermission.
Murchison lit East Bladen’s fire for the second half with a three-pointer right out of the locker room, which was followed by a three-pointer from Alex Stephens and three easy layups by Jaquan Jones to lift the Eagles to a 19-4 run through the third quarter and a 55-27 lead.
Devonta Smith canned a three-pointer to help lead East Bladen to a 16-9 fourth-quarter run to seal the 35-point win.
Murchison led the Eagles with 18 points and Josh McMillian added 12.
East Bladen returns to play on Friday when they host Pender County in a Four County Conference matchup at 8 p.m.
— On Friday Triton High used a strong second half to break open a tight game against East Bladen in the Nathan Gay Holiday Tournament and took an opening-round 69-45 win.
The loss drops the Eagles to 4-5, while Triton improved to 6-4.
The two teams tested each other throughout the first quarter and the Hawks held a 16-14 edge when the period ended. It would be East Bladen’s best quarter.
That lead got expanded to 29-24 by halftime when Triton outscored the Eagles by a 13-10 margin in the second stanza.
East Bladen never got its offense on track in the second half, and the Hawks quickly swooped in.
Triton scored nearly at will in the third quarter, putting 20 points on the board, while the defense held the Eagles to just 10 points and took a 49-34 lead into the final 8 minutes.
The fourth quarter was a mirror image of the third, as the Hawks put another 20 points on the board and held East Bladen to 11 to seal the win.
Farrell Murchison led the Eagles with 17 points with a trio of three-pointers. Jaquan Jones added nine points.