02/27/08 — Warrior boys boy out of 3-A playoffs

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Warrior boys boy out of 3-A playoffs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 27, 2008 2:31 PM

AHOSKIE -- Down by two possessions with 94 seconds left in its season, Eastern Wayne just couldn't close the deal Tuesday evening.

State-ranked Hertford County made sure of it.

The Bears (23-2 overall) forced three turnovers and drained free throws down the stretch in a 74-63, opening-round victory in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A sectional playoffs. Hertford County entertains Jacksonville White Oak on Thursday.

The Warriors concluded the year 9-16 overall.

"We were right there. I thought our kids did a tremendous job tonight," said Eastern Wayne coach Marvin Bowman. "They've got a team that's got a great drive and I saw the same thing in our kids tonight."

Hertford County attempted to run away just before halftime.

Deshawn Outlaw's offensive putback and Antonio Vaughan's steal and layup gave the Bears a 35-26 cushion at halftime. Vaughan's steal and layup to start the third quarter continued a 14-2 run, which put the Warriors down 41-28.

"They're real strong in their transition game," said Bowman. "They got a couple of rebounds and they get it out very quick. Their kids fill the lanes, ran the floor and a couple of times beat us downcourt.

"It wasn't that we didn't get back, they were in position that when they reversed the ball, they knocked down the shots."

Eastern Wayne pecked away at the deficit.

Will White, Hassan Best and Orlando Midgette constantly worked their way inside the Bears' zone for buckets. The trio helped the Warriors climb with 46-42 when Midgette hit the back end of a two-shot foul.

"We switched our defense to a 1-3-1 and that turned things little bit around for us," said Bowman.

The Bears maintained a two-possession advantage throughout the early stages of the final quarter. White drew his fifth foul with nearly six minutes left and that took away a physical player inside.

Vaughan and Lamar Monger, who will attend Winston-Salem State, combined for key field goals as Hertford County built a 63-52 lead. The teams traded scoring possessions and turnovers for the next couple of minutes.

But the Warriors, the No. 4 seed from the Eastern Carolina Conference, pulled within single digits again on Cody Kirkham's 3-pointer. Dominique Saddler converted two free throws with 1 minute, 24 seconds left in regulation to make it 70-63.

Hertford finished off Eastern Wayne at the free throw line.

"They wanted it and we wanted it," said Bowman. "I thought it was a well-played game."

Monger, who turned down a football offer from Duke, led five Bears in double figures with 18 points. Outlaw added 16, while Vaughan chipped in 15. Ivan Coulton and Marcus Burnell contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Best paced the Warriors with 14 points. Jamere Thomas knocked down 12, while White provided eight of his 10 points in the second half.