Senior star guards Aniylah Bryant and NyAsia Blango were out to make sure their Havelock girls basketball team would retain its spot atop the county teams in the annual Craven Christmas Classic.
Friday, in the title game of the tourney against New Bern, that duo got more than a 'little' help from their friends in a 75-43 victory.
Alexandria Brown and Akela Van combined for 27 points to help lift the Rams to the win.
Head coach Anna Spear said that's what the team needs from those two in addition to what Bryant and Blango provide.
"It was good for us to see some pressure so we know how we're going to play in those situations, we haven't been pressed much this year yet," Spear said.
"Van and Alex played some of their best games of the year and we need them. Jazmine (Harris) too, coming in and giving us five points."
New Bern was down just 36-22 at the half and 18-16 after the first quarter but then Havelock put some distance on the scoreboard in the second half.
The Rams had just 13 turnovers for the game, only three in the second half.
Blango scored 12 points and handed out 12 assists and was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
Bryant led the team in scoring with 24 points and grabbed down seven rebounds.
"We have to be able to take care of the ball like that and be good with our passes," Spear said.
For New Bern, freshman Journee McDaniel led the team with 18 points and Destiny Banks and Regina McCray added six apiece.
Bryant, McDaniel, Banks and West Craven's Kayla Simmons joined Blango on the All-Tournament Team.
Havelock 18 18 18 19 - 75
New Bern 16 6 10 11 - 43
Havelock (75) - Aniylah Bryant 24, Akela Van 14, Alexandria Brown 13, NyAsia Blango 12, Jazmine Harris 5, Tatyona Frazier 4, Morgan Nesburg 3.
New Bern (43) - Journee McDaniel 18, Destiny Banks 6, Regina McCray 6, Emily Gover 4, Tyra Wright 4, Kai'leeya Wilson 3, Jordan Reddick 2.
Eagles topple Trojans 49-22 for third place
After a disappointing Thursday againt Havelock, West Craven's team was gunning for a victory Friday in the consolation game against Jones Senior.
The Eagles jumped out to a 14-4 lead after one quarter and 25-14 at the half before eventually leaving with a 49-22 win.
Kayla Simmons had 15 points to pace the Eagles as Donnasia Gray added 13 and Deslyn Abrams scored nine.
While the win was nice for coach Lea Wedesky's Eagles, she still realizes there is a lot to keep working on.
"We were more aggressive but still sloppy," Wedesky said.
"We have to keep having that aggressiveness without coaches or teammates screaming at each other to shoot the ball."
West Craven used pressure defense to force the Trojans into turnovers, the first time they've gone to the man-to-man press this season.
"We had a lot of good hustle and effort plays today that we need all the time," Wedesky said.
"We were able to use our length to get steals and blocks and deflections and we have to do that much more."
Tanayja Green, Cailyn Christiansen and Dymond Foye all scored six each for Jones Senior.
West Craven 14 11 8 16 - 49
Jones Senior 4 10 3 5 - 22
West Craven (49) - Kayla Simmons 15, Donnasia Gray 13, Deslyn Abrams 9, Akira Felder 5, Rashonda Gurley 4, Bryonna Collins 3.
Jones Senior (22) - Cailyn Christiansen 6, Dymond Foye 6, Tanayja Green 6, Nyeisha Battle 2, Jasmine Brimage 2.
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org