TEACHEY — It was the Four County Conference’s version of David vs. Goliath, and once again David won.
East Bladen, seeded No. 7 in the conference tournament after a 1-13 regular season, traveled to face No. 2 seed Wallace-Rose Hill — which had finished 10-4 and already handed the Eagles a 91-64 and 83-69 losses — and rallied from a first-half deficit to upset the Bulldogs, 61-55, for its biggest win of the season.
The win improved East Bladen to 3-22 overall and sends them into the second round of the tournament against West Bladen on Thursday at Pender County High.
Wallace-Rose Hill opened the game with a 16-10 run through the first quarter, as the Eagles got four points each from Eian Hines and Demetrius Wooten.
The Bulldogs hung on to the momentum early in the second stanza, but East Bladen began to turn things around later in the quarter on the strength of a three-pointer by Denzel Johnson. When the half ended, Wallace-Rose Hill took a 34-29 advantage into the intermission.
That lead wouldn’t last long.
The Eagles came out of halftime refocused and with some needed adjustments — and went on a 19-6 run through the third quarter behind a stiff defense and three-pointers from Wooten, Johnson and Adonis Avery. East Bladen carried a 48-40 edge into the fourth frame.
Wallace-Rose Hill turned up the pressure and outscored the Eagles by a 15-13 margin, but the Bulldogs’ rally fell short as a pair of buckets by both Hines and Johnson kept the home team at bay.
The Eagles put four players in double figures, as Hines led East Bladen with 17 points, Demetrius Wooten scored 15 points and Johnson and Xavier Wooten each scored 10.