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Photos by Kenneth Armstrong

ELIZABETHTOWN – Junior Tyre Boykin sank 2 free throws with 3.8 seconds left to lift West Bladen to a 59-57 Three Rivers Conference boys basketball victory over East Bladen Friday night.

Sophmore Freddy Wooten drove for a transition lay-up that tied the game 57-57 with 56 seconds left. The Knights ran the clock down until Boykin was fouled on a drive. A desperation heave by the Eagles at the buzzer fell short.

“We didn’t play nearly as well as we did Tuesday night (a 2-point loss to South Columbus),” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “Rivalry games are the ones the kids remember, so it was a big win for us. I think we are getting better.”

“We just can’t seem to close out games,” said Eagle Coach Kenzil McCall. “We had some tough breaks at the end, but we need to step up and make plays to pull them out.”

The Eagles started the game with a 10-0 run. Senior Bryon Bowen flipped in a runner, senior Keshaun Davis raced to the rim for a pair of baskets, and sophmore Javant McDowell popped in a 6-footer then capped the spurt with a dunk at the 3:01 mark.

After a time-out, sophmore Shyron Adams and senior Keshawn Lewis buried 3-point shots. Boykin turned a steal into a lay-up then hit a free throw. Senior Kerron Washington’s lay-up vaulted the Knights in front. Junior Nolan Bryant bombed in a pair of 3-point shots for a 17-10 West lead at the quarter break.

Boykin began the second period with a free throw, before Wooten’s lay-up ended the 18-0 Knight run. Lewis and Wooten traded 3-point shots, before Bryant turned a Jackson Norris assist into a lay-up for a 23-15 lead.

Senior Darrell Banks, Davis and junior Tyshawn Berkeley dropped in lay-ups to pull East to within 23-21. Lewis and Eagle senior Greyson Heustess swapped 3-point baskets, and Boykin and Davis traded lay-ups. Boykin delivered a 3-point shot to put West up 31-26 at halftime.

Sophmore Shyron Adams drained a 3-point shot to start the second half. Heustess’ pull-up jumper, a Banks free throw and a Davis 3-ball sliced the lead to 34-32, but Bryant fired in another 3-pointer for a 37-32 West lead.

A pair of Davis lay-ups were offset by Norris’ jump-hook and a pair of Boykin free throws. Banks faded away on a 4-footer, and Wooten scored in transition to pull East to within 41-40.

Senior Jaheim Lesane nailed a 3-point shot, and senior Cameron Taylor banked in a 6-footer to give the Knights a 46-42 lead at the quarter break.

Banks drilled in a 3-pointer after a Boykin lay-up. Davis fed McDowell for a lay-up then tossed in a lay-up to vault East ahead 51-49 with 4:58 on the clock.

Boykin hit 2 free throws, Taylor banked in a runner and Lesane rattled in an 8-footer for a 6-0 Knight run that produced a 55-51 lead. McDowell put back a follow, but Lewis banked in a 6-footer for a 57-53 lead.

Wooten made 2 free throws and the transition lay-up to tie the game.

Boykin led the Knights with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Lewis and Bryant finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds each. Adams totaled 6 points and 5 rebounds. Lesane added 5 points and 5 rebounds. Senior Drew Harris grabbed 4 rebounds.

Davis topped the Eagle scoring with 18 points. Wooten finished with 11 points, and McDowell contributed 9 points and 15 rebounds. Banks tallied 10 points and 8 rebounds. Bowen pulled down 5 rebounds. Heustess scored 5 points.

“I thought we did a good job on McDowell,” said Coach Pait. “We tried to force Davis to his left, but he just went right around us. Anytime we can get a win over here, I will take it.”

The Knights will host Fairmont Tuesday night, while the Eagles will travel to Whiteville Tuesday night.

West Bladen  17  14  15  13 – 59
East Bladen   10  16  16  15 – 57

WEST BLADEN (59) – Kerron Washington 2, Jaheim Lesane 5, Shyron Adams 6, Tyre Boykin 18, Keshawn Lewis 11, Eddie Perez-Ortiz, Trashawn Ballard, Drew Harris, Nijeah McKoy, Jackson Norris 2, Nolan Bryant 11, Cameron Taylor 4.

EAST BLADEN (57) – Keshaun Davis 18, Greyson Heustess 5, Bryon Bowen 2, Javant McDowell 9, Juwan Baldwin, Tyshawn Berkeley 2, Freddy Wooten 11, Darrell Banks 10, Robbie Cooley, Corey McKoy.

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