The Havelock girls basketball team opened the Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament by holding off Hoggard 31-28 in the first round Thursday at UNC-Wilmington.
Hoggard finally found its offense in the final period, but the visiting Havelock Rams were able to hold on for the victory.
The Vikings got a game-high 15 points from Julia Buehler and a game-high 11 rebounds from Aleah Thompson. Havelock was led by 12 points and nine boards from Jalisa Wilson.
The Rams used a 7-0 run to start the second half to build a 24-15 lead.
But Hoggard rallied and trailed only 27-26 on Buehler's 3-pointer with 2:10 left. And Buehler closed the gap to 29-28 with a drive with 30 seconds remaining.
“That was honestly the weirdest game I’ve ever been involved in,” Hoggard coach Boubacar Aw said. “We're a decent shooting team and today was probably one of our worst shooting nights.”
Both teams struggled in their half-court offenses throughout the first half, with numerous unforced passing miscues.
After Thompson’s back-to-back buckets gave the Vikings a 6-5 edge heading into the second frame, the Rams used an 8-0 run to grab a 13-6 lead. Havelock carried a 15-12 advantage into the break.
Havelock improves to 5-4 on the year with the victory, while Hoggard falls to 6-4.
The Rams are next scheduled to play Raleigh Millbrook at 3 p.m. today in the second round of the tournament.
HAVELOCK – Natalie Johnson 5, Apriel Barrette 5, Jalisa Wilson 12, Shernecia Martin 1, Shaolin McKinney 3, Emily Bowman 5. Totals 11 7-15 31.
HOGGARD – Julia Buehler 15, Jessica Bennion 4, Rebekah Fry 1, Aleah Thompson 6, Emma Haywood 2. Totals 9 8-13 28.
Havelock 5 10 2 14 – 31
Hoggard 6 6 3 13 – 28
3-pointers: Hav: 2 (Barrette, McKinney). Hogg: 2 (Buehler 2).
Tom Grady is a correspondent for the Star News in Wilmington.