TAR HEEL – Elizabethtown built a 32-16 lead Thursday night en route to a 38-29 victory over Tar Heel in the Bladen County Middle School Tournament championship game.
Cougar guard Malcolm Bolden drove for a pair of first quarter baskets, and Jacob Nixon nailed a 3-point shot. Phillip McKiver and Zamar Lewis sank 2 free throws each, and Cameron White added a basket as Elizabethtown built a 13-10 lead.
Kearean Ballard drilled in a 3-point shot and two other baskets for the Panthers in the first quarter. Teammate Jordan Underwood tossed in a basket, and Ikeir Murchison hit a free throw.
Bolden raced to the rim for 2 more baskets and canned a trio of free throws in the second period. White netted a basket, and Lewis made a free throw as the Cougar lead grew to 23-14.
Ballard pumped in a basket, and Underwood sank 2 free throws for Tar Heel before halftime.
Nixon keyed a 9-2 Cougar run in the third quarter with a basket and a free throw. Bolden and Lewis made 2 free throws each, and White threw in a basket as the Elizabethtown lead reached 32-16. Ballard scored the only Panther basket in the period.
Murchison popped in 3 baskets and a free throw as the Panthers rallied in the final quarter. Ballard flipped in a basket and 2 free throws, and Underwood tacked on a basket.
Dominick Collins tossed in a basket in the final period, and Nixon and White cashed in 2 free throws each for the Cougars.
Coach Larry Williams’ Cougars improved to 6-1 on the season and will play at Clarkton Thursday. Tar Heel, now 1-4, will play Tuesday at Whiteville Central.
Elizabethtown 13 10 9 6 – 38
Tar Heel 10 4 2 13 – 29
ELIZABETHTOWN (38) – Phillip McKiver 2, Cameron White 8, Yontee Dobson, Jacob Nixon 8, Malcolm Bolden 13, Dominick Collins 2, Peyton Tatum, Zamar Lewis 5, J’marius Smith, Taran McNeill, Zach Metz, Tyreon Graham.
TAR HEEL (29) – Deyon McDonald, Ikeir Murchison 8, Kearean Ballard 15, Jordan Underwood 6, Aquani Hilton, Stefane Jessup, Ahmir Stepps, Kalef Brown, Xavier Lopez, Saquan Lewis, Cameron Page, Tyrek Ballard, Messyah Whitted.