Zack Bruns walked into the coaches office and asked for the game ball.
Havelock’s senior certainly deserved it.
Bruns scored his 1,000th career varsity point in the Rams’ 62-59 victory over South Central Tuesday in Havelock.
“It feels great, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Bruns said. “It was a big achievement.”
Bruns, a three-year varsity player, became Havelock’s first 1,000-point scorer in more than 10 years. Jason Deane eclipsed the milestone in 2002.
Entering the game, Bruns needed just 13 points.
“This is a dream come true. It’s just amazing. I was trying not to let it get to me, and it was trying to play team ball, but I was getting frustrated and forced some shots,” he said.
Bruns accomplished the feat with four seconds remaining on a free throw that gave Havelock a 61-59 lead. His second free throw put the Rams up 62-59. South Central missed on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, and Havelock (12-7, 9-2 Coastal) moved into second place in the Coastal Conference.
David Carter gave Havelock a one-point advantage with a bucket with 35 seconds left. After South Central turned the ball over, Carter chased down a loose ball after a missed shot.
Bruns was then fouled and closed the game out.
Havelock went into halftime with a 27-25 lead, but outscored South Central (11-7, 7-2), 19-14, in the third quarter.
The Falcons rallied to take a 51-48 lead in the fourth quarter. Havelock’s Pharoh Cooper responded with back-to-back buckets, and Bruns made two free throws to hand the Rams a 54-51 edge.
South Central knotted the score at 54-54 following a 3-pointer from Saleik Edwards.
Bruns scored 15 points and swiped five steals. Cooper poured in 20 points and Matt Prichard contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Havelock avenged a 79-55 thumping to South Central on Jan. 8.
“Since I have been here, we haven’t beaten South Central, until now,” Bruns said. “This was a huge game for us.”
Brian Brightwell paced South Central with 16 points and six boards. Tyrik Suggs and Jae’Tavon Edward each scored 11.
The Rams have three games remaining – Jacksonville on Friday at home, West Carteret on Tuesday on the road; and West Craven at home on Feb. 14.
“This gives us a shot of confidence,” said Havelock coach Bill Fryczynski. “Today, we were focused the whole 32 minutes. We set ourselves on the right track.”
Havelock 54, South Central 47
Despite some early season struggles, Havelock senior Shakina Dyer doesn’t consider a victory over South Central an upset.
Dyer scored a game-high 22 points to engineer Havelock to a 54-47 win over Coastal Conference leader South Central on Tuesday.
“We knew we had to go out there and go hard and put everything on the line,” Dyer said. “This just gives us momentum to keep pushing forward.”
Dyer drained three 3-pointers and snagged seven rebounds. Rams’ senior Kierra Fleming recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. Aprielle Barrette tallied nine points and five assists.
“I knew what I had to do, and I knew that I had to work with my teammates,” Dyer said. “If the shot was there, I took it.”
The Rams (10-8, 6-5 Coastal) lost to South Central (18-3, 9-2) 57-43 earlier in the season, but the victory Tuesday keeps the Rams squarely in the hunt for one of five league playoff spots and gives them a crucial tiebreaker edge.
Havelock rushed out to a 21-12 lead after one quarter, but fell behind by a point at halftime. The Rams outscored the Falcons 27-19 in the second half.
South Central got within five points with two minutes remaining. Fleming then converted two free throws and Dyer added a basket with 55 seconds left.
South Central scored the next four points, but Dyer iced Havelock’s victory with two free throws with four seconds to go.
Shanique Streeter led South Central with 19 points. Daneisha Murray added 12 points and Kaylin Reid scored 11.
Havelock 62, South Central 59
SOUTH CENTRAL (59): J.C. Simpson 2, Brian Brightwell 16, Tyrik Suggs 11, Ethan Rogerson 5, Jae’Tavon Edwards 11, Saleik Edwards 10, Nick Randolph 2, Chris Cherry 2.
HAVELOCK (62): Zack Bruns 15, Matt Prichard 18, Pharoh Cooper 20, David Carter 4, Shondel Granison 3, Kyran Bowman 2.
Rebounds: South Central 24 (Simpson 7, Brightwell 6); Havelock 26 (Prichard 10). 3-pointers: South Central 5 (Suggs 3, S. Edwards 2); Havelock 1 (Bruns).
Havelock 54, South Central 47
SOUTH CENTRAL (47): Chrystall Jerome 4, Kaylin Reid 11, Daneisha Murray 12, Shanique Streeter 19, Bianca Lockamy 1.
HAVELOCK (54): Natalie Johnson 2, Aprielle Barrette 9, Jalisa Wilson 5, Shakina Dyer 22, Kierra Fleming 10, Vanessa Coyne 4, Alaya Fenderson 2.
Rebounds: South Central 25 (Murray 6, Reid 6); Havelock 27 (Fleming 11, Dyer 7). 3-pointers: South Central 5 (Streeter 5); Havelock 4 (Dyer 3, Barrette 1).