West Craven holds off Havelock for tourney title


Havelock's Zack Bruns, left, looks for room against West Craven's Josh Cuthbertson during the Coastal 3A Conference tournament championship game on Friday at West Craven.

Byron Holland/Halifax Media
Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM.

VANCEBORO — Both Havelock and West Craven had a lot on the line in Friday’s Coastal 3A Conference championship.

Havelock was trying to win its first league tournament title in recent memory, while West Craven was aiming to repeat as champs, and finish the conference season undefeated.

In a hard-fought battle, West Craven was a smidgen tougher by outlasting the Rams 72-64.

Josh Cuthbertson scored 32 points, 16 in the third quarter alone, and snatched 12 rebounds. He also passed Kinston and North Carolina legend Jerry Stackhouse in North Carolina high school career points.

“The whole team has to step up and they did tonight,” West Craven coach Bryan Goehring said. “We’ve been through a ton of close-game situations that have prepared us for tonight. The defensive intensity picked up in the second half.”

The Eagles led 52-48 after three quarters, and iced it with free throws and in-your-face defense that forced Havelock turnovers.

“My guys played as hard as they could tonight and with their (West Craven’s) athleticism, we came up just short against them again,” Havelock coach Bill Fryczynski said. “I can’t remember the last time we lost two in a row, so going into the playoffs as conference runner-up, and playing in the game for the first time since nobody knows when, I’m very proud of the guys this year.”

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