Havelock girls basketball coach Anna Spear could say little about her team’s 38-31 victory Tuesday in the Coastal 3A Conference opener at Havelock High.
"A win’s a win," she said. "It’s a conference win, and we found a way to get it done, as ugly as it may be."
The Rams (3-1, 1-0) trailed 17-14 with 5:01 left in the second quarter, but scored the last seven points of the half, including Apriel Barrette’s 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Havelock was aggressive defensively to start the third quarter and scored the first eight points to lead 29-17 midway through the period.
"I took a time-out and the thing I talked about was effort, resilience and determination," Spear said. "We were just bewildering around.
"We knew exactly what to expect from them with that 1-2-2 half-court trap, but we just never got in sync as an offensive unit."
Jalisa Wilson’s steal and layup put the Rams ahead 37-22 with 6:07 left in the game, but it was also Havelock’s last made basket of the contest.
White Oak (4-2, 0-1) drew within 37-31 with 2:32 left on a three-point play from Lyric Levester, but the Vikings missed six consecutive shots down the stretch and had two turnovers. Kierra Fleming hit a free throw with 11 seconds left to seal the victory for the Rams, who were just 3 of 14 from the free-throw line.
"That’s not going to get it done," Spear said of the team’s free-throw percentage.
Havelock is next scheduled to play New Bern at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.
White Oak 12 5 2 12 —31
Havelock 12 9 8 9 —38
White Oak (31)— Lyric Levester 16, Emily McLain 4, Latina Bailey 4, Hailey Bigler 3, Tineisha Smith 2, D.J. Miller 2.
Havelock (38)— Jalisa Wilson 12, Natalie Johnson 8, Apriel Barrette 7, Kierra Fleming 6, Shakina Dyer 5.