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BLADENBORO – St. Pauls held off a couple of late West Bladen rallies Friday night and defeated the Knights 64-59 in Three Rivers Conference boys basketball action.

Knight senior Keshawn Lewis nailed a 3-point shot, and junior Tyre Boykin drove the baseline for a lay-up and a free throw that sliced the Bulldog lead to 41-40 with 7:13 left in the final quarter.

Junior Emonta Smith banked in a runner, and junior Caleb Henderson drove for a 3-point play that pushed the Bulldog lead to 46-40. Two more Henderson lay-ups grew the lead to 54-44 at the 4:08 mark.

Lewis cashed in 2 free throws to ignite an 8-0 Knight spurt. Junior Nijeah McKoy put back a rebound, Lewis hit a free throw, and Boykin stole the ball and drove for a 3-point play that closed the gap to 58-56 with 2:05 remaining.

Henderson and Smith made 2 free throws each to boost the margin to 62-56, but Lewis buried a 3-point bomb from 25 feet out to whittle the margin to 62-59. However a pair of Smith free throws with 7 seconds left iced the decision.

Boykin led the Knights with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Lewis followed with 9 points, and senior Cameron Taylor finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds. Senior Jaheim Lesane scored 7 points for the Knights, and junior Shyron Adams pulled down 7 rebounds. McKoy grabbed 5 rebounds.

Henderson topped the Bulldogs with 13 points, and Smith totaled 12 points. Isaiah Davis and Erikison Emanuel chipped in with 8 points each.

“We were slow on our rotations all night, and we didn’t step up on defense,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “They shot too many lay-ups. With all that we still had a chance at the end, but our margin of error is so small that a lot of things have to go right for us and they didn’t tonight.”

Adams muscled in a follow, and senior Kerron Washington and Lesane drove for lay-ups to start the game. Boykin sank 2 free throws then assisted on a Jackson Norris lay-up. Taylor’s free throw put the Knights up 11-6 at the quarter break.

Senior Drew Harris hooked in a follow shot to begin the second period that gave the Knights their biggest lead at 13-6.

St. Pauls answered with a 16-2 run over the final 7:35 of the half to take a 22-15 lead. Junior Nolan Bryant buried a corner jumper 1:06 before halftime for the only West basket of the run.

The Bulldog lead grew to 32-18 in the third quarter, before Lesane canned a trio of foul shots. Taylor delivered a pass to Adams for a lay-up, Boykin double-clutched a 4-footer, and Taylor hung in the air to flip in a 4-footer that trimmed the margin to 36-27.

Boykin knocked down a 15-footer, Taylor put back a rebound, and Bryant drilled in a 3-point shot to pull West within 38-34. William Ford’s lay-up gave St. Pauls a 40-34 lead at the quarter break.

West Bladen will travel to South Columbus Tuesday night.

St. Pauls            6  16  18  24 – 64
West Bladen  11     4  19  25 – 59

WEST BLADEN (59) – Kerron Washington 2, Jaheim Lesane 7, Shyron Adams 4, Tyre Boykin 16, Trenton Lyons, Keshawn Lewis 9, Eddie Perez-Ortiz, Trashawn Ballard 2, Drew Harris 2, Nijeah McKoy 2, Jackson Norris 2, Nolan Bryant 5, Cameron Taylor 8.