HAVELOCK | As the season winds down, the Havelock Rams are playing catch up.
Head coach Daniel Griffee goes as far as to say that the rest of their games are ‘must wins.’
The Rams outscored conference co-leader White Oak, 16-7, in overtime to escape with a 49-40 victory in a Coastal 3-A Conference boys’ basketball game Thursday at Havelock High.
“Every game is a must-win, but we have to take it one game at a time,” said Havelock coach Daniel Griffee. “We can’t think of what’s ahead of us. We have to think about what’s in front of us. We have to do our part and hope other teams beat each other up.”
Miels Sutton led Havelock with 14 points and six rebounds, Anthony Harris and Quinzel Lockhart added 10 points apiece and Khalil Barrett contributed nine points.
“We have to have a ‘we can’t lose mentality.’ We know that every loss is detrimental and we don’t need another loss,” Lockhart said.
Harris’ 3-pointer closed Havelock’s third-quarter deficit to 27-25, but a jumper by White Oak’s Landry Gainey made it a four-point game at the end of the period.
The Rams evened the score on a mid-range jumper by Lockhart and a steal and a layup by Barrett with three minutes remaining.
White Oak missed two free throws with 1:26 to go, and Havelock held the ball the rest of the way before Lockhart’s shot missed wildly, sending the game to overtime.
Harris’ trey on the first possession of overtime gave the Rams the lead.
“That’s the way I wish we would have started,” said Griffee. “Giving these boys a spark is tough, they are so used to Quinzel getting dunks or people getting threes.
“Anthony hit that three in overtime and that sparked us and then they played really good defense.”
Havelock (8-10, 4-4 Coastal 3-A) forced 16 turnovers and made 9-of-15 from the foul line.
“It was mostly about who had the most heart,” Lockhart said. “Coach told us we needed to be tougher so we came out in overtime. After Anthony hit that three, we kept going.”
Havelock later put it away and extended its lead to 44-34 as Miels Sutton converted a three-point play.
“That was huge. Him finishing that layup and then hitting that free throw was big for him and for the team,” Griffee said.
Havelock scored just four points in the first quarter and trailed 9-4.
The Rams took a 17-14 lead in the second after Sutton rattled in a three, but White Oak scored the next six points to take a 20-17 edge at halftime.
“As a team, we feel highly disrespected because everybody treats us like we are trash,” Lockhart said. “We have to show everybody that we aren’t trash and that we are here to compete.”
White Oak (12-10, 7-3) was led by Demond Moore’s 12 points.
Havelock has four more conference games, starting with a home game against Swansboro on Friday.
White Oak 9 11 9 4 7 -- 40
Havelock 4 13 8 8 16-- 49
WHITE OAK (40) – Savion Young 4, Derrico Miller 6, Landry Gainey 10, Derwin Davis 5, Tyrique Meadows 3, Demond Moore 12.
HAVELOCK (49) – Quinzel Lockhart 10, Anthony Harris 10, Khalil Barrett 9, Miels Sutton 14, Zion Beach 5.
Rebounds: White Oak 27 (Davis 7), Havelock 20 (Lockhart 6, Sutton 6); Turnovers: White Oak 16, Havelock 8; 3-pointers: White Oak 2 (Gainey 2), Havelock 6 (Harris 2, Sutton 3, Beach); Free throws: White Oak 2-6, Havelock 9-15. Records: White Oak 12-10, 7-3 Coastal 3-A, Havelock 8-10, 4-4. Up next: White Oak at Swansboro, Tuesday; Swansboro at Havelock, Friday.