HAVELOCK - It wasn't that Havelock boys basketball head coach Matt Handley thought his guys played 'bad' Friday against White Oak, just that they could never get that spark they often do.
After trailing 22-11 after a quarter, 40-26 at half and 51-40 after three, Havelock pushed to try and ignite that spark in the fourth quarter but the Vikings always had an answer.
White Oak closed it out on the road with a 64-53 win over the Rams.
"The kids had no quit in them tonight, they fought their best, we just couldn't get enough shots to fall against a good team in White Oak," Handley said.
"They (White Oak) have a good starting five and three guys especially in No. 12, 11 and 20 that can really play."
It was the No. 12 Handley spoke of, Dereco Miller who had the biggest game Friday for the visitors as he put up 23 points and 13 rebounds.
"It seemed like more than that," Handley said of Miller's night.
Havelock's big man, Jermaine Vereen, had another nice night as he scored 13 points to go with 11 boards.
Shakur Frazier scored 20 to lead Havelock and Christian Frazier put in 14.
"Our conference is a tough league and you really do have to come ready every night," Handley said.
"We've had some tough losses though as we've had leads in every game we've played I think except for two, tonight being one of those."
The Rams cut the Vikings' lead down to seven at one point in the fourth quarter but just couldn't get any closer.
In addition to Miller's big night for White Oak, Sam Venerable scored 17 points and Austin Morris added 16.
Havelock falls back to .500 on the year at 7-7 overall and 2-4 in the Coastal 3A Conference.
The win puts White Oak in prime position in the league at 5-1 (18-2 overall), a game ahead of both West Carteret and Northside-Jacksonville.
White Oak 22 18 11 13 - 64
Havelock 11 15 14 13 - 53
White Oak (64) - Dereco Miller 23, Sam Venerable 17, Austin Morris 16, D.J. Davis 4, Antonio Carter 3.
Havelock (53) - Shakur Frazier 20, Christian Frazier 14, Jermaine Vereen 13, Kevon Hammond 4, Dorian Darden 2.
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org