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Boys Basketball: East Bladen 55, South Columbus 38

ELIZABETHTOWN –Sophmore Javant McDowell and senior Keshaun Davis keyed a 23-4 closing run that carried East Bladen to a 55-38 Three Rivers Conference boys basketball victory over South Robeson Tuesday night.

South Robeson had rallied to take 34-30 lead late in the third quarter, but McDowell dropped in a lay-up to pull the Eagles within 34-32 at the quarter break.

McDowell pumped in a 14-footer to start the final period then flipped in a lay-up off of an in-bounds pass. Davis drove to the front of the rim for a basket and a 38-34 Eagle lead at the 5:35 mark.

Syncere Southern’s transition lay-up sliced the margin to 38-36, but McDowell turned a Bryon Bowen assist into a lay-up. Senior Darrell Banks popped in a 4-footer off of a feed from Davis. Davis cashed in 4 straight free throws to pad the lead to 46-36.

McDowell put back a rebound, and Davis pumped in 5 free throws in the final minute as the lead grew to 53-36.

“This was a good team win,” said Eagle Coach Kenzil McCall after his team’s second consecutive win. “The team has started listening to us and playing hard. I think maybe we were pressing too hard in some of those close games that got away.”

McDowell recorded a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds, and Davis finished with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Banks finished with 6 points and 4 steals. “Javant is playing really well,” said Coach McCall. “This was his second-straight double-double.”

South Robeson grabbed an early 4-1 lead, but McDowell muscled in a follow shot, and Banks stole the ball and raced for a lay-up and a 5-4 lead. McDowell delivered another basket and a free throw, and Davis buried a 3-pointer for an 11-6 Eagle lead at the quarter break.

Juwan Baldwin connected on a corner jumper for a 13-8 lead, but 6-4 Cameron Werrell rallied the Mustangs into a 13-13 tie. Kylerr Paige made 3 free throws to push South in front 16-13.

Davis nailed a 3-point shot, senior Greyson Heustess hit 2 free throws, McDowell drove for a lay-up, and Banks stole the ball and beat the buzzer with a lay-up for a 22-18 Eagle halftime lead.

McDowell worked inside for 2 more baskets as the East lead grew to 26-21. Lay-ups by sophmore Freddy Wooten and Davis kept East ahead at 30-28, before two Werrell free throws vaulted South in front at 32-30.

Werrell led the Mustangs with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Paige finished with 9 points.

The Eagles, now 3-5 in league play, will travel to West Columbus Wednesday night.

South Robeson  6  12  16   4 – 38
East Bladen      11  11  10  23 – 55

EAST BLADEN (55) – Keshaun Davis 17, Greyson Heustess 2, Bryon Bowen, Javant McDowell 22, Juwan Baldwin 2, Tyshawn Berkeley 2, Freddy Wooten 2, Darrell Banks 6, Robbie Cooley, Corey McKoy, Rashard Willis 2.

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