VANCEBORO - The first time West Craven's and Havelock's boys' basketball teams met this season it was a mismatch, a no contest as the Eagles won 85-45 in Havelock.
Friday night, it was a new herd of Rams that came into Vanceboro for the return matchup as West Craven was seeking an end to a three-game losing streak.
It was the first game that Havelock had its football players available after the team had reached the state championship last weekend.
While the Rams were game and put up a valiant fight, the Eagles were able to hold them at bay for a 74-67 win, breaking their skid.
"We've been battling some selfish issues during this losing streak and we preach family here as our motto and tonight we played like it," West Craven coach David Fernandez said.
"It was a program win really, we won it as a program. Coach Griffee has a good team over there with Havelock and they'll get better too."
For Griffee, it was a 'let's see what we've got,' kind of night and he was impressed by his team.
"It was better than I thought we'd be for a first game together," Griffee said.
"I'm really proud of the guys, you gotta play good competition to make you better and we did that tonight."
The twin guards Campbell of West Craven led the attack for the Eagles as Latrell Campbell scored 25 points and Laqueze poured in 24.
Havelock made a run in the fourth quarter, tying the game up midway through but the Eagles were able to extend it again just enough with drives to the hoop and getting to the free-throw line.
"We buckled down and didn't let things spiral out of control," Fernandez said.
"We don't have a whole lot of height, so we have to get to the basket with our small guys and attack."
For Havelock, Josh Reid led the Rams with 18 points, Khari Knight added 12, Welton Spottsville chipped in 11 and Anthony Harris scored 10.
Fouls and turnovers played large parts in dooming the Rams, especially down the stretch.
"Calls are like that, they go one way, they go another," Griffee said.
"We forced them into a lot of turnovers too but we didn't convert on those."
Havelock falls to 0-5 on the year and West Craven improves to 3-3.
West Craven 17; 25; 17; 15; 74
Havelock 17; 18; 16; 16; 67
West Craven (74) - Latrell Campbell 25, Laqueze Campbell 24, Julien Allgeier 8, Sheldon Yates 8, Ahmad Inman 4, Daymonte Campbell 3, Colby Anderson 2.
Havelock (67) - Josh Reid 18, Khari Knight 12, Welton Spottsville 11, Anthony Harris 10, Jared Norwood 7, Zion Beach 6, Donavan Turner 3.
Rebounds - West Craven 37 (Yates 10), Havelock 27 (Reid 8). Turnovers - West Craven 25, Havelock 18. Free-throw shooting - West Craven 21-30 (70 percent), Havelock 7-14 (50 percent).
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at email@example.com