The Havelock Rams boys basketball team rallied with a strong fourth quarter, taking its first lead of the game with less than a minute to go en route to a 60-58 victory Friday at Jacksonville.
The Cardinals fell to 7-8 overall and 2-3 in the Coastal 3A Conference, while the Rams improved to 7-6 and 4-1 going into the exam break. Havelock is scheduled to play at West Craven on Friday.
“I just told them that they played a great game and there is nothing to be ashamed about,” Jacksonville coach James Jordan said. “I know a few of these guys are taking it pretty hard, but we need to go into next week and get some rest and be ready to get back at it next Friday night.”
Havelock took its first lead — a lead it never lost — with 59 seconds left when Pharoh Cooper, who was a Shrine Bowl quarterback for the Rams’ football team, stole the ball near midcourt and drove to the bucket for a layup for a 57-55 lead.
The Cardinals missed two shots on their ensuing trip down court and were forced to foul. Havelock’s Matt Prichard hit both foul shots to push the lead to 59-55, but Jacksonville closed to within one on a 3-pointer by Nigel Vialva with 22 seconds left.
Havelock made it 60-58 on one of two foul shots by Zack Bruns with 9.6 seconds left, and the Cardinals were unable to get the tying or winning bucket in the final seconds.
“At halftime I said there were two things we couldn’t do,” Havelock coach Bill Fryczynski said. “No. 1 we can’t panic, and No. 2 we can’t go into the tank. We weren’t hitting our shots and even though they didn’t fall, we got enough from our defense and enough from transition to make up for it.”
Jacksonville led most of the contest, taking a 19-10 lead at the end of a first quarter in which the Cardinals had six players contribute points. Throughout the second quarter, the Cardinals stayed patient and were able to break Havelock’s 1-2-2 full-court press and built a 32-19 halftime cushion on the back of 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range and aggressive defensive play from senior Tyler Perry.
Havelock did not help itself in the first half, missing all 15 of its 3-point shot attempts.
With 6:37 left in the third quarter, Cooper cut the deficit to 10 on a pair of free throws, but the Cardinals were able to stay on top going into the fourth quarter.
Back-and-forth play by both teams ended with an eight-point lead for Jacksonville at the start of the fourth quarter, and the Cardinals pushed their lead to 11 early in the final quarter on a 3-point play by Josh Roman.
Havelock, in desperate need of a spark, found one in sophomore Michael Bowman, who scored four points in 30 seconds to help start the Rams’ rally, which was helped by Jacksonville being in the double bonus with 4:45 left.
Havelock girls 49
Havelock jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they rumbled past Jacksonville (2-10, 0-5).
The Rams are now 6-5 and 2-3.
Jacksonville was turnover-prone early as Havelock switched defenses, which threw off the young Cardinals, who struggled to run offense the entire night.
The Cardinals were able to slow the Rams down in the second quarter, but seven straight turnovers coming out of halftime allowed Havelock to stretch its lead.
Havelock 19 5 11 14 — 49
Jacksonville 7 4 6 4 — 21
HAVELOCK (49) - Fleming 11, Barrette 10, Johnson 10, Coyne 8, McKinley 3, Dyer 3, Fenderson 3, Wilson 1. Totals— 17 14-22 49
JACKSONVILLE (21) - Hurd 6, Wallace-O’Neal 6, Heritage 3, Scott 3, Berry 3. Totals— 7 4-12 21.
3-Point Goals— J 3 (Hurd 2, Heritage 1). H 1 (McKinley 1). Rebounds— J 29 (Scott 8). H NA. RECORDS— J: 2-10, 0-5. H: 6-5, 2-3.
Havelock 10 9 20 21 — 60
Jacksonville 19 13 15 11 — 58
HAVELOCK (60) - Bruns 18, Bowman 13, Cooper 11, Prichard 8, Granison 4, Ju Cuthbertson 2, Jo Cuthbertson 2, Coplon 2. Totals— 24 11-24 60.
JACKSONVILLE (58) - Roman 13, Bodette 11, Vialva 9, Smith 7, Mulnix 7, Stone 4, Perez 3, Perry 2, Williams 2. Totals— 23 6-10 58.
3-Point Goals— H 1 (Bowman 1). J 6 (Roman 2). Rebounds— H 23 (Jo Cuthbertson 5). J 21 (Vialva 10). RECORDS— H: 7-6, 4-1. J: 7-8, 2-3.