Everyone has the same game plan when playing coach David Fernandez's West Craven Eagles.,
Everyone has the same game plan when playing coach David Fernandez’s West Craven Eagles – limit Jamie Cherry.
Havelock coach Anna Spear probably knows Fernandez’s flock better than anyone and Thursday, her Rams came as close to knocking off West Craven as anyone in the Coastal Conference’s recent history. After leading by as many 10, Havelock struggled in the second half to be as efficient as it was in the first and fell to the Eagles, 50-43.
“It was a tough one for us, no doubt and credit Havelock for that,” Fernandez said. “Anna (Spear) always has a plan for us and we know we’ll never see the same thing twice. That combined with some bad defense and cold shooting in the first half put us in some trouble.”
Cherry was held by the Rams to just seven first-half points before finishing the night with 26.
Havelock led 26-20 at the intermission and got up 30-20 before Cherry and backcourt mate Jasmine Raynor sparked a West Craven rally.
“I felt like if we held Cherry to 25, we would have a good shot,” Spear said. “She got 26, but number 12 (Raynor) made some big plays for them down the stretch too. As for us, we just tried to make them work hard for everything they got and we didn’t play nearly as well in the second half as we did in the first.”
Fernandez acknowledged the stellar play of Raynor and forward Kaylee Koerperich after the win. Koerperich recorded 17 rebounds for the second straight game.
“Jasmine has been at a different level the past two weeks. She has been hard to guard on her drives and Kaylee just gets beaten up, knocked down and tossed around and just keeps going at it and producing,” Fernandez said.
The Eagles will be the Coastal Conference champions again this season and are 20-1 overall and 11-0 in league play.
Havelock (12-8, 8-3 Coastal) is in second place, a game ahead of Swansboro, with West Carteret left on the schedule Friday night in Morehead City.
“We want to advance as far as we can and hopefully get another shot at them,” Spear said. “We have to go ahead tomorrow night and take care of business against West Carteret.”
Box: West Craven (50) – Jamie Cherry 26, Jasmine Raynor 13, Kaylee Koerperich 6, Attalia Dixon 2, Rendi Wetherington 2, Lindsey Arthur 1.
Havelock (43) – Apriel Barrette 11, Vanessa Coyne 7, Iesha Cooper 6, Natalie Johnson 6, Emily Bowman 4, Jalisa Wilson 4, Shaolin McKinley 3, Shernecia Martin 2.
Team Stats: Rebounds: West Craven – 42 (Kaylee Koerperich 17), Havelock – 34 (Emily Bowman 9). Turnovers: West Craven – 12, Havelock – 19. Free Throws: West Craven – 13/22 (59 percent), Havelock – 8/14 (57 percent).
Jordan Honeycutt is a reporter for the Sun Journal.