ELIZABETHTOWN — West Bladen used a 20-11 third-quarter run to rally from an eight-point halftime deficit en route to an 88-85 win over East Bladen on Friday in the Three Rivers Conference regular-season finale.
The Knights improved to 7-17 overall, 4-14 in the conference; the Eagles fell to 5-18, 3-15.
After a three-pointer by Shyron Adams to open the game for the visitors, East Bladen went on a 15-7 run behind a three-pointer from Messiah Leach and three buckets from Anthony Wooten. But West Bladen answered with a 7-0 burst on a three-pointer and basket by Jimmy Williams and a bucket by Gerardo Reyes for a 17-15 edge.
The Eagles came back with a 6-0 run behind two baskets by Bryon Bowen and a bucket from Adonis Avery and, after a free throw by Keshawn Lewis for the visitors, East Bladen finished the first quarter with a 4-0 burst behind a free throw by Sincere Smith and a three-pointer by Avery for a 25-18 lead.
Baskets by Jonathan Robinson and Jaheim Lesane for West were sandwiched around a basket by Keshaun Davis for East before the Eagles went on a 6-0 spurt on baskets by Wooten, Zaire Dobson andReashoid Pone. West Bladen came right back with its own 6-0 run on three-pointers from Adams and Keroon Washington, but the Eagles answered with baskets from Bowen, Davis and Avery to open a 39-28 lead.
Washington buried a three-pointer for the visitors and Dobson answered with a bucket for East; Williams drained a three-pointer for the Knights and the Eagles got baskets from Davis and Deondre Newkirk; Reyes hit a three-pointer for West Bladen and Avery buried a bucket for East — and Tyre Boykin canned two free throws for the visitors to end the half with the Eagles up, 47-39.
“We just didn’t compete in that first half,” West Bladen coach Travis Pait said. “We talked a lot about that at halftime.”
The tables began to turn quickly.
West Bladen opened the second half with a three-pointer from Williams and basket by Reyes to close the gap to 47-44. After a Davis free throw for East, Reyes canned a pair of free throws for West — but the Eagles put together a 5-0 burst on a basket and free throw by Leach and two free throws by Avery to extend the lead to 53-46.
Williams hit a basket, Reyes bombed in a three-pointer and Adams canned a bucket to knot the game at 53-53 before Avery canned a basket for the Eagles. After a basket by Lewis for the Knights and a bucket by Leach for the Eagles, West Bladen went on a 4-0 spurt behind two free throws by Robinson and basket by Lewis. east Bladen got a free throw to end the third quarter by Davis, but trailed 59-58 going into the fourth frame.
The two teams went at each other fast and furious through the final eight minutes, combining for 56 points, but West Bladen managed to secure a 29-27 advantage — hitting 11-of-22 free throws along the way — to squeeze out the win.
Williams drained a three-pointer and was 4-of-6 at the line to lead the Knights, while Drew Harris and Jackson Norris each canned a pair of important baskets down the stretch. Lesane also canned a three-pointer for West Bladen in the quarter.
East Bladen got eight points from Smith in the period before he fouled out; Avery scored nine points with a three-pointer in the quarter; and Davis sank a pair of baskets for the Eagles.
“They’re faster than we are, but we just tried to keep pace and wear them down,” Pait said. “Jackson (Norris) made some big plays for us with a couple of blocks and baskets, and Drew (Harris) also hit two big baskets.”
Williams led West Bladen with 20 points behind four three-pointers; Reyes scored 15 points with two three-pointers; Robinson, Adams and Washington each had eight points. Ten players scored for the Knights, who were 21-of-43 from the line.
East Bladen got a game-high 22 points from Avery, who had two three-pointers; Davis scored 14 points; Smith scored 13 points and was 7-for-eight from the line; Leach scored 10 points; and Bowen had eight points. The Eagles were 12-of-19 at the line.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.