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LELAND – Junior Malakhi Daniels pumped in 13 points and ignited a pivotal 9-0 spurt that cemented a 48-36 non-conference boys’ basketball victory for North Brunswick over previously undefeated West Bladen Wednesday night.

The Scorpions carried a 28-23 lead into the final period, but Knight sophomore Hezekiah Adams dropped in a lay-up off of an in-bounds pass from junior Andre Moore. Senior Walter Bealon sent an assist to West sophomore Chase Williams for a lay-up that trimmed the margin to 30-27 with 5:16 remaining.

Daniels answered with a runner, and teammates C. J. Robbins and Matt McKenry tossed in lay-ups, before Isaic Nipper nailed a 3-pointer to grow the lead to 39-27.

Williams banged in a lay-up, and Adams stole the ball and raced for a lay-up that closed the gap to 39-31. Terry Hood drove for a 3-point play for the Scorpions that pushed the lead back to 42-31 with 2:10 left. Williams rang up a lay-up, a free throw and a rebound basket in the final minutes but the Knights never got closer than 9 points.

“If you don’t shoot it, don’t handle it, don’t box out and don’t rebound, you don’t win,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. West Bladen had 5 turnovers in the final period, 10 in the 2nd half and 19 in the game.

Williams just missed a double-double with 18 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Knights. Adams finished with 11 points. Moore and freshman Tylik McCall grabbed 5 rebounds each, and freshman Jackson Pait had 2 steals.

McKenry followed Daniels on the Scorpion scoring list with 9 points, and Robbins and Hood added 8 points each.

Williams converted an Adams assist into a lay-up and a 3-point play to start the game. Pait drained a fade-away 15-footer then delivered a pass to Williams for a lay-up and a 7-6 lead. Adams bombed in a long 3-point shot for a 10-7 lead, but McKenry tied the game with a 3-ball for North.

McCall sent a feed to Adams for a lay-up, and Pait popped in a baseline jumper for a 14-10 West lead. However a McKenry lay-up and 2 free throws from Daniels edged North on top 16-14 at the break.

Adams and Williams drove for lay-ups for West in the 2nd period, but Daniels threw in a pair of runners, and a Robbins lay-up gave North a 24-18 halftime lead.

Williams scored on a follow shot, but a Daniels runner kept North up 28-20, before Moore drilled in a corner 3-ball to pull West within 28-23 at the 3rd quarter break.

The Knights, now 8-1, will battle Pamlico County Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the opening round of their own Bladen Off-Road Christmas Tournament.

West Bladen           14  4  5  13 – 36
North Brunswick  16  8  4  20 – 48

WEST BLADEN (36) – Jackson Pait 4, Hezekiah Adams 11, Tylik McCall, Andre Moore 3, Cornelius Esters, Walter Bealon, Chase Williams 18.

NORTH BRUNSWICK (48) – Isaic Nipper 3, Aaron Smith 2, Terry Hood 8, Malakhi Daniels 13, Kamonte Carter 5, C. J. Robbins 8, Matt McKenny 9, Jordan Stegall, Kane Jennette, Ky Hensley, Zavion Fryar.