The short-handed Havelock Rams gave the ball away 36 times but held on for a 37-33 victory over the visiting Jacksonville Cardinals on Friday in Havelock.
The Rams (12-7, 8-2 Coastal 3A Conference), playing without two of their leading scorers, avoided their second straight defeat. They scored only 20 points in Thursday’s loss at Swansboro.
Shaolin McKinley scored 13 points, and Courtney Beall pulled down seven rebounds, four of which came in the fourth quarter.
McKinley banked in a shot with 23 seconds remaining to secure Havelock’s victory.
Jacksonville got within two, at 35-33, with 1:20 showing. The Rams turned the ball over twice, and Jacksonville’s Kimberly Skinner missed a layup and two free throws that could have tied the game.
Natalie Johnson scored five points for the Rams to go along with six steals. Dominique Martinez contributed six points.
Havelock held Jacksonville to a point in the first quarter and took a 24-13 lead at halftime.
The Rams scored the first four points in the second quarter on baskets by McKinley and Vanessa Coyne. However, 19 first-half turnovers by the Rams allowed the Cardinals to stay close.
Taylor Todd-Williams’ bucket cut Jacksonville’s deficit to 28-26 late in the third quarter before McKinley drained a 3-pointer to push Havelock’s advantage to five points.
Skinner connected on a 3-pointer for the first points of the final period but the Rams tallied the next four points to open a six-point cushion.
Havelock forced 28 turnovers and out-rebounded the Cardinals 39-27.
Skinner recorded 16 points to lead Jacksonville, and Brittany Ochs tacked on six points and seven boards.
Havelock is next scheduled to play at West Carteret on Tuesday night
Jacksonville 1 12 13 7 -- 33
Havelock 11 13 7 6-- 37
JACKSONVILLE (33):Alexis Hurd 1, Brittany Ochs 6, Devone’ Felton 2, Vanisha Berry 2, Dominique McNair 2, Kimberly Skinner 16, Taylor Todd-Williams 4.
HAVELOCK (37):Natalie Johnson 5, Iesha Cooper 2, Shaolin McKinley 13, Vanessa Coyne 6, Emily Bowman 2, Shemecia Martin 3, Dominique Martinez 6.
Rebounds: Jacksonville 27 (Ochs 7), Havelock 39 (Beall 7). 3-pointers: Jacksonville 3 (Skinner 3), Havelock 1 (McKinley). Turnovers: Jacksonville 28, Havelock 39. Records: Jacksonville: 7-9, 4-5 Coastal 3A, Havelock: 12-7, 8-2.
Adam Thompson is a reporter for the Sun Journal.