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Boys Basketball: East Columbus 82, West Bladen 73

BLADENBORO – East Columbus senior DaMarcus Brown pounded the boards for 30 points and 14 rebounds as the Gators rallied for an 82-73 Three Rivers Conference boys basketball victory over West Bladen Friday night.

Brown banged in ten rebound baskets in the game. Senior Tyree Burney totaled 19 points for the Gators before fouling out, and senior Alterek Simpson finished with 12 points.

Junior Tyre Boykin poured in 35 points and collected 5 rebounds and 3 steals to lead the Knights. Sophmore Shyron Adams racked up 11 points and 7 rebounds, and senior Keshawn Lewis finished with 11 points. Senior Jaheim Lesane added 6 points.

A pair of Burney lay-ups sparked the Gators to an early 8-2 lead, before Boykin buried a 3-point shot from each corner to tie the game 8-8. A Simpson 3-point play put East ahead 11-8.

The Knights responded with a 12-0 run. Boykin popped in a 10-footer and tacked on a free throw, and Lewis nailed a 3-point shot. Adams made 2 free throws, and Boykin spun to the basket for a lay-up. Free throws from Boykin and Lewis pushed the Knight lead to 20-11.

Trey Brown answered with a 3-point shot, and Donovan Worley drove for a Gator lay-up to trim the margin to 20-19. Boykin cashed in 2 free throws, and Adams muscled in a rebound for a 24-19 Knight lead at the quarter break.

Boykin started the second quarter with a steal and a lay-up that upped the count to 26-19. A DaMarcus Brown lay-up and a pair of Simpson lay-ups sliced the margin to 26-25.

Lewis drove for a lay-up and a 3-point play. Adams converted a Lesane assist into a lay-up, and Adams and Boykin hit free throws for a 33-29 West lead.

The Gators fought back with a 9-2 run keyed by lay-ups from Burney and Simpson and a pair of DaMarcus Brown free throws. Boykin drove for a lay-up then beat the buzzer with a 6-footer that edged the Knights in front 39-38 at halftime.

A Boykin lay-up and a pair of Lesane free throws kept West on top at 43-42, before DaMarcus Brown sparked a 22-7 Gator run with five rebound baskets. Burney contributed 2 lay-ups and 2 free throws to the spurt.

“The put-backs were what beat us the first time we played them,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait.

Boykin knocked down a 3-point shot, and Adams and Lewis dropped in lay-ups for the Knights, but the Gator lead had grown to 64-50 at the quarter break.

Junior Nolan Bryant and Boykin fired in 3-point shots, Boykin made a free throw, and Lesane canned 2 free throws to pull the Knights to within 66-59 with 5:09 remaining.

A Lewis follow-shot, a lay-up by senior Drew Harris and a Kerron Washington free throw kept West Bladen within 70-64 at the 3:26 mark.

A trio of Gator lay-ups widened the gap to 76-64. Lesane pulled up for an 8-footer, Boykin flipped in a runner then buried his fifth 3-pointer of the game to pull West within 79-71 with 17 seconds on the clock.

“We were turning the ball over like crazy in the first half,” said Coach Pait. The Knights were charged with 21 turnovers in the first half and 30 in the game.

West Bladen will host Whiteville Friday night.

East Columbus  19  19  26  18 – 82
West Bladen      24  15  11  23 – 73

WEST BLADEN (73) – Kerron Washington 3, Jaheim Lesane 6, Shyron Adams 11, Tyre Boykin 35, Keshawn Lewis 11, Eddie Perez-Ortiz, Drew Harris 2, Nijeah McKoy, Jackson Norris, Nolan Bryant 3, Cameron Taylor 2.

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