ST PAULS – A 19-4 third quarter spurt propelled St. Pauls to a 65-53 Three Rivers Conference boys basketball victory over East Bladen Tuesday night in a foul-plagued game.
Eagle senior Sincere Smith drove for a pair of transition lay-ups and tacked on 2 free throws to put East Bladen ahead 26-23 early in the third quarter. Senior Reashoid Pone drained a 3-point shot to keep the Eagles up 29-27 at the 4:09 mark.
Romeo Jordan ignited the Bulldogs’ decisive spurt with a trio of free throws, a lay-up and a 3-point shot that put St. Pauls up 36-31. Aaron Revels and Isaiah McNair threw in 3-point shots as the Bulldog lead grew to 46-33 at the quarter break.
Four free throws from Smith and an Adonis Avery lay-up and free throw trimmed the Bulldog lead to 48-41.
Jordan sank 10 of 11 free throws in the final period, and Revels tacked on 4 more to keep the Bulldogs in front.
Senior Deondre Newkirk buried a pair of 3-point shots and hit 2 free throws in the quarter for the Eagles, and junior Keshaun Davis drove for a lay-up and hit a free throw.
There were 62 personal fouls and 4 technical fouls whistled in the game. Eight players – four from each team – fouled out. St. Pauls made 24 of 48 free throws led by Jordan making 13 of 15. East Bladen connected on 19 of 42 free throws.
“It was a crazy game,” said Eagle Coach Kenzil McCall. “We had too many turnovers at the wrong time, especially in the second half. We have to do a better job of protecting the ball and running our offense.”
Smith topped the East Bladen scoring with 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Davis followed with 10 points. Newkirk finished with 8 points, and freshman Javant McDowell pulled down 8 rebounds.
Jordan led all scorers with 27 points, and Revels followed with 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Smith buried a pair of 3-point shots and put back a rebound, and Davis drilled in a 3-ball as the Eagles grabbed an early 11-2 lead. The Bulldogs closed the gap to 13-10 at the quarter break.
St. Pauls opened the second period with an 11-1 run to go up 21-14. Smith canned a trio of free throws, Davis hit one and Pone popped in an 8-foot jumper to keep East within 23-20 at halftime.
“I am proud of the effort tonight,” said Coach McCall. “The kids played hard.”
The Eagles will visit South Robeson Wednesday night.
East Bladen (53) –Adonis Avery 3, Byron Bowen 4, Keshaun Davis 10, Messiah Leach 3, Pierce Melvin, Javant McDowell 1, Sincere Smith 19, Deondre Newkirk 8, Zaire T. Dobson, Reashoid Pone 5.