With a 62-46 halftime lead, the West Craven Eagles were in a groove offensively and looked as though they may threaten the century mark against Havelock Friday.
After the break though, Havelock coach Bill Fryczynski adjusted his defense and disrupted the Eagles, holding them to seven points in the third quarter.
Havelock fought back to within six with less than two minutes to go, before a three-point play from West Craven big man Tyrone Brown sealed a 89-76 victory for the Eagles.
Josh Cuthbertson scored 33 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. Demetres Abrams poured in 25 to help pace the Eagles’ attack.
“I was just thinking attack mode all night, especially after the third quarter when me and Demetres (Abrams) weren’t hitting our shots and they (Havelock) were coming back,” Cuthbertson said. “Some nights that is going to happen and we can’t hit our shots all of the time, so we have to tough out the win.”
Brown added 11 points, Zac Cuthbertson scored eight and Javier Monk chipped in with six.
“Our kids started out hot and then we couldn’t make a shot in that third quarter,” West Craven associate head coach Robert Browning said. “Havelock’s kids are really tough and they played us really tough. Tyrone (Brown) really picked up his intensity, Josh was fantastic and Demetres was the well-rounded player that he has become.”
For the Rams, Michael Bowman torched the nets for 26 points on deep 3-pointers and slashing, driving layups, while Zack Bruns added 19.
“When a team scores 62 on you in one half, you have to be looking for some answers,” Fryczynski said. “We went from a box-in-one on Abrams to a triangle-and-two in the second half and we were able to slow them down a bit, and got back in the game. They just have so much firepower, that they wore us down at the end.”
Matt Prichard was huge for the Rams with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while guard David Carter scored 10 and dished out six assists.
The Eagles and Rams will stage a rematch in Havelock on Feb. 14.
West Craven 54
The Havelock Rams tried everything they could and used every tool they had to try and overcome the Eagles Friday – but it was too much Jamie Cherry.
Cherry scored 31 of West Craven’s 54 points in a 54-46 Coastal Conference win over one of its biggest rivals.
Cherry also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double and had five assists.
The Havelock girls made a spirited comeback attempt that fell just short and featured a strategic and timeout chess match between West Craven’s David Fernandez and Havelock’s Anna Spear.
Nishedra Brown scored 10 points in aid of Cherry.
“We showed a lot of toughness tonight and we have been preaching it and the girls really brought it to the floor tonight,” Fernandez said. “I called those two timeouts to tell the girls to keep playing through it all and that the scoreboard was all that matters.”
Jasmine Raynor and Kaylee Koerperich both scored only five and four points, respectively, but each grabbed eight rebounds apiece.
“Rebounds win games,” Fernandez said. “I think it says a lot when a team can win on a night when you don’t play your best too, which we didn’t tonight.”
Kierra Fleming scored six points and collected 16 rebounds, while Jalisa Wilson scored 12 and Natalie Johnson had 10.
“I was pleased with the tempo we played in the first half, but we shot ourselves in the foot by giving up that 7-0 run at the end of the half,” Spear said. “We outrebounded them 38-24, 20 of which were offensive and at the end. I was telling them to compete and give ourselves a chance.”
West Craven (89) - Josh Cuthbertson 33, Demetres Abrams 25, Tyrone Brown 11, Zac Cuthbertson 8, Javier Monk 6, Kylikke Green 2, Alkeim Harley 2, Anthony Oates 2, Jared Fulcher, Andrew Reid.
Havelock (76) - Michael Bowman 26, Zack Bruns 19, David Carter 10, Matt Prichard 10, Shondel Granison 5, Kyran Bowman 4, Mike Richards 2, Will Blythe, A.J. Coplon.
West Craven (54) - Jamie Cherry 31, Nishedra Brown 10, Jasmine Raynor 5, Kaylee Koerperich 4, Nyeesha Roundtree 2, Rendi Wetherington 2, Attalia Dixon, Ronkeia Lewis, J’Miaya Wright.
Havelock (46) - Jalisa Wilson 12, Natalie Johnson 10, Shakina Dyer 6, Kierra Fleming 6, Apriel Barrette 5, Iesha Cooper 5, Shaolin McKinley 2, Alicia Bess, Vanessa Coyne, Alaya Fenderson.