DUBLIN — East Bladen dropped in 25 points in the fourth quarter, including 13 of 18 free throws, and broke into the win column Friday with a 68-55 victory over North Brunswick in the seventh-place game of the Woodmen Life Christmas Tournament.
“Before the game I told (the team) they had to find some energy and play for each other,” Eagles coach Kenzil McCall said. “It’s tough playing three days in a row without many fans to cheer you on, but I really believe this can lead to more success.”
The Scorpions opened the game with a basket before East Bladen went on an 8-0 run on baskets Adonis Avery, Eian Hines and Demetrius Wooten, along with two free throws from Wooten. North Brunswick canned five straight points, but the Eagles got two buckets from Hines and one from Denzel Johnson to take a 14-7 lead. The visitors dropped in a three-pointer at the close of the quarter to cut the deficit to 14-10.
North Brunswick opened the second stanza with an 8-0 spurt for an 18-14 edge, but after a long drought Avery drained a three-pointer at the 4:44 mark. The Scorpions hit four straight free throws before Avery canned two quick three-pointers to take a 23-22 lead midway through the quarter. North Brunswick edged the Eagles 7-6 the rest of the way, and the two teams went into halftime deadlocked at 29.
East Bladen opened the second half on an 8-3 spurt behind baskets from Ethan Hines, Johnson and Dondre Harris — then finished the third quarter on a 6-4 burst behind baskets from Johnson , Avery and Eian Hines to take a 43-40 edge into the fourth frame.
The Eagles began the final quarter with an 11-5 run, then finished it with a 10-3 run to seal the win. Eian Hines scored 10 in the period, six from the charity stripe, and Johnson added 11 points in the quarter, five from the free throw line.
“It’s good to get that first win,” McCall said. “I’m glad we were able to knock down those free throws.”
Eian Hines led East Bladen with 22 points, while Johnson contributed 20 points and Avery scored 13 points.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.