Championship day of the Craven County Holiday Classic basketball tournament brought the same matchups in both the boys and girls brackets.
Havelock met West Craven for the championship and New Bern took on Jones Senior in the consolation game.
The Rams and Eagles were playing each other for the third time on the early season Thursday but this game was vastly different than the previous two.
Thursday's wasn't your two weeks ago West Craven team after the squad got its first win Wednesday over Jones Senior.
The Eagles came in confident and prepared and battled Havelock all the way to the end, falling 60-46 behind strong efforts from the Rams' star guards NyAsia Blango and Aniylah Bryant.
Bryant scored 21 points and Blango added 16 to carry the Rams to the tournament title.
Bryant was Most Valuable Player of the tournament as she and Blango were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Kiana Harris led West Craven with 15 points and Samantha Lilly contributed 14.
West Craven head coach Lea Wedesky prides herself as a competitor and like most competitors, hates losing, but she found a lot of pride in her team despite the loss.
"After the win Wednesday over Jones Senior, we came in with some confidence and played like it," she said.
"It's tough to see progress early in the season sometimes but when you play the same team three times, lose by 40-plus with a running clock, then lose by 30, then by 14, you do see it."
For Havelock head coach Anna Spear, it was a head-shaking night as her Rams struggled with ball-handling at times and had periods of cold shooting.
She noted that her team did not play its best but also noted that the Eagles played tough and well.
"It's about consistency and continuity for us and we did not have it tonight," Spear said.
"We have to find our identity and I feel like there are times where we don't play fearless, like we're worried about getting a shot blocked, things like that."
The Eagles had the advantage inside with Harris, Deslyn Abrams and Dottie Dixon against the Rams' more potent outside shooting game.
Dixon and Lilly were named to the All-Tournament Team from West Craven.
Havelock also committed half as many turnovers as the Eagles with just 16 to West Craven's 32.
The Eagles' advantage on the boards was 35-25 with Dixon ripping down 11.
"They beat us up inside and would get two and three shots at it and finished it," Spear said of the Eagles' post presence.
Wedesky said she is happiest about her team being able to see the results of putting in hard work at practice.
"Just trust it, trust that we will continue getting better the more we work and play for each other," she said.
Havelock improves to 7-0 on the year and West Craven drops to 1-10.
Bears top Trojans 47-27 in consolation game
The New Bern Bears' girls' basketball team was anxious to bounce back from a loss to Havelock Wednesday as it battled Jones Senior for third place Thursday in the Craven County Holiday Classic.
Head coach Joe Davis was able to play virtually his entire roster but the Trojans held their own until the fourth quarter before falling 47-27.
New Bern led 29-15 at the half and 36-22 after three.
Syeedah Humphrey led the Bears with 11 points and Starasia Bell-Freeman and Rah Humphrey added 10 apiece.
Bell-Freeman was named to the All-Tournament Team for her performance over the two-day event.
New Bern largely got it done with defense, forcing 31 Jones Senior turnovers.
Point guard Tanayja Green led Jones Senior with 10 points.
"We knew Jones Senior would be feisty but we were able to stay composed enough to bounce back with a win," Davis said.
"We did get stagnant at times on offense, something we have to work on. We wanted to go 2-0 in this tournament but we'll take 1-1."
Jones Senior coach Tina Nelson was feeling much better about her team's effort and performance Thursday than the 60-17 loss to West Craven Wednesday.
"I was glad to see the girls were able to come back from that bad loss and fight back today," Nelson said.
"We're young but we are tough and everybody I put out there played hard, the turnovers just killed us."
New Bern runs its record to 4-8 on the year and Jones Senior drops to 1-8.
Havelock 21; 8; 22; 9; 60
West Craven 10; 12; 10; 14; 46
Havelock (60) - Aniylah Bryant 21, NyAsia Blango 16, Alexandria Brown 7, Nseya Harden 5, Alanna Williams 4, Tysheana George 3, Isidre DeJesus 2.
West Craven (46) - Kiana Harris 15, Samantha Lilly 14, Deslyn Abrams 7, Dottie Dixon 7, Aiyana Rodriguez 3.
Rebounds - West Craven 35 (Dixon 11), Havelock 25 (Bryant 7). Turnovers - West Craven 32, Havelock 16. Free-throw shooting - West Craven 5-for-16 (31 percent), Havelock 5-10 (50 percent).
New Bern 14; 15; 7; 11; 47
Jones Senior 9; 6; 7; 5; 27
New Bern (47) - Syeedah Humphrey 11, Starasia Bell-Freeman 10, Rah Humphrey 10, Jadaya Gray 8, Diondria Courman 6, Regina McCray 2.
Jones Senior (27) - Tanayja Green 10, Katie Beckwith 6, Shaelah King 6, Dymond Foye 5.
Rebounds - New Bern 35 (Bell-Freeman, R. Humphrey and McCray with 6 apiece), Jones Senior 33 (Nyeshia Battle 14). Turnovers - New Bern 16, Jones Senior 31. Free-throw shooting - New Bern 3-6 (50 percent), Jones Senior 6-15 (40 percent).
Girls' All-Tournament Team: Aniylah Bryant (Most Valuable Player - Havelock), NyAsia Blango (Havelock), Dottie Dixon (West Craven), Samantha Lilly (West Craven), Starasia Bell-Freeman (New Bern).
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org