Havelock boys basketball coach Bill Fryczynski wants his players to focus. For a 39-second span in the fourth quarter, the Rams focused just about as well as any team can.
The Rams pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 73-53 Coastal 3A Conference victory over Jacksonville Friday at Havelock High.
“People will look at a 20-point game and say it was easy,” Fryczynski said. “It was not easy. There was nothing easy about it.”
Jacksonville cut a 16-point deficit to 61-51 with just over three minutes left in the game when Havelock exploded. Shondel Granison had two big rebounds that led to baskets by Matt Prichard. A steal led to a David Carter layup, and then Zack Bruns stole the next inbounds pass and scored. In a matter of just 39 seconds, Havelock scored eight straight points and removed all doubt as to the outcome of the game.
“It’s all focus,” Fryczynski said. “Focus, focus, focus.”
Havelock improved to 13-7 overall and 10-2 in the conference, good for second place. The Rams play at West Carteret Tuesday and then host first-place West Craven on Valentine’s Day night to wrap up the regular season.
“We can beat West Craven,” Fryczynski said. “I told the guys we can beat West Craven, but we have to play well, and we have to beat West Carteret first.”
Bruns led the Rams with 19 points, 15 coming in the second half.
“Bruns struggled with his shooting early in the game, and that’s going to happen,” Fryczynski said. “But, he picked it up and he’s going to find ways to score. He’s our leader. If he doesn’t lead us, we don’t get led. We’re rudderless. So when he started to put some points on the board, we settled down and were able to build a 10-point lead.”
The Rams trailed 10-9 after the first quarter, with Granison and Prichard each playing with some early foul trouble. Granison hit a 3-pointer and knocked down two free throws in the final 1:42 of the second quarter, helping Havelock to a 27-21 lead at halftime.
Havelock began to pull away in the third quarter, using a 13-4 run over the final three minutes of the frame to build a 49-33 advantage. Pharoh Cooper scored the final five points of the period for the Rams.
“I think the best thing was that we played hard, very hard,” Fryczynski said. “We did some things we don’t normally do. We made some fouls and put them in the double bonus and let them hang around, but we played hard.”
Prichard scored 16, Cooper added 10, and Granison and Carter had nine each.
Chris Smith led Jacksonville (10-12, 5-7) with 17.
The Havelock girls scored the first 13 points of the game and never looked back against outmatched Jacksonville.
The Cardinals (2-17, 0-12) didn’t get their first points until Alexis Hurd hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Rams continued to pour it on in the second quarter and led 29-9 at halftime. Havelock extended the lead to 47-11 at the end of three quarters, and rested the starters in the fourth.
Every player in the Ram lineup scored.
“We got everybody some time, and we feel that’s important, going into to the finish of the season and going into tournament time,” Havelock coach Anna Spear said. “We’ve had some sickness this week, too, so we’re trying to get everybody healthy.”
Shakina Dyer led the Rams with 16 points, and six other players had five or more points.
“We’ve talked about that if someone’s not stepping up, then somebody else has to,” Spear said. “And, we’ve got to step up together.”
Havelock (12-8, 7-5) has now won four straight contests to get back in the hunt for a playoff spot with games against West Carteret and West Craven remaining.
Jville 10 11 12 20 -53
Hav 9 18 22 24 -73
Jacksonville (53) – Chris Smith 17, Nigel Vialva 11, Will Chentier 7, Tyler Perry 6, William Bodette 4, Talon Mulnix 4, Aaron Williams 3, Ossie Perez 1.
Havelock (73) – Zack Bruns 19, Matt Prichard 16, Pharoh Cooper 10, Shondel Granison 9, David Carter 9, Kyran Bowman 3, Matt Boykin 2, Mike Richards 2, Jordan Cuthbertson 2, Jerry Martin 1.
Jville 3 6 2 5 -16
Hav 13 16 18 11 -58
Jacksonville (16) – Lyssa Wallace-O’Neal 6, Alexis Hurd 5, Stacey Scott 3, Devone Felton 2.
Havelock (58) – Shakina Dyer 16, Alaya Fenderson 7, Apriel Barrette 6, Natalie Johnson 6, Jalisa Wilson 6, Kierra Fleming 5, Alicia Best 5, Shaolin McKinley 3, Iesha Cooper 2, Vanessa Coyne 2.