Eagles whip Whiteville for first ‘W’

DUBLIN — East Bladen withstood a furious Whiteville rally Thursday to win its first game of the season, this one coming in the second round of the Woodmen Life Christmas Tournament, 62-50.

The win improved the Eagles to 1-8 and puts them into Friday’s fifth-place game against First Flight at 4 p.m.

The Wolfpack got the first bucket of the game, but East Bladen answered with a 10-0 run led by three-pointers by Adonis Avery and Messiah Leach. The two teams traded points the rest of the quarter and the Eagles took a 19-11 lead into the second quarter.

Sincere Smith bombed in a three-pointer that helped East Bladen to an 8-6 advantage through the period and sent the Eagles into halftime with a 27-17 lead.

East Bladen opened the second half with a quick 8-4 run, but Whiteville began a run that finished the third quarter at 8-2 and whittled the Eagles’ lead to 37-29.

That run continued into the fourth quarter for the Wolfpack, reaching a combined 21-7 between the two quarters and knotted the game at 44-44 midway through the final frame.

But the Eagles responded, outscoring Whiteville by an 18-6 margin the rest of the way — a majority of the damage coming from the free throw line.

Smith led East Bladen with a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, while Avery contributed 18 points and eight boards.