02/25/2024
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By John Clark

BLADENBORO – Junior Chase Williams and sophomore guard Jackson Pait combined for 50 points and provided the inside-outside attack that carried West Bladen to a 63-40 non-conference boys’ basketball victory Tuesday night over East Bladen in front of a packed and roaring crowd.

Williams slammed in 5 dunks and connected on 14 of 17 shots from the floor to rack up his 30 points. The 6-7 center corralled 12 rebounds to post a double-double, blocked 3 shots and had 2 assists. Pait drained 6 of his 12 3-point shots to finish with 20 points and snared 3 rebounds.

Junior Hezekiah Adams tossed in 8 points and had 3 steals and a dunk. Senior Andre Moore dished out 9 assists, grabbed 5 rebounds, had 2 steals and nailed a 3-point shot. Sophomore Tylik McCall contributed 4 assists.

Junior Dominick Collins headed the East scoring list with 17 points and snared 5 rebounds. Senior Lee Barnes delivered 4 3-point baskets and totaled 15 points. Sophomore Ronnie Covington scored 6 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Senior center Rodney Lacewell collected 6 rebounds.

Covington’s rebound basket gave the Eagles the early lead. Pait sandwiched a pair of 3-point bombs around a 3-pointer by Barnes to edge the Knights ahead 6-5. Collins connected from 15 feet, but Williams muscled in a follow for an 8-7 West lead.

Covington faded away on a 12-footer to give the Eagles their final lead at 9-8. Adams stole the ball and crammed in a dunk, and Williams spun to the basket for a lay-up. Lacewell powered in a follow for East, but Adams hit a free throw then stole the ball and raced for a lay-up and a 15-11 Knight lead at the quarter break.

Barnes cashed in 3 free throws to narrow the gap to 15-14, before Williams banked in a 4-footer and added a free throw. Collins answered with a 6-footer, but Williams dropped in a foul shot, and Adams scooted ahead for a transition lay-up and a 21-16 lead.

Covington scored inside, but Williams spun to the rim for a lay-up. Collins pumped in an 8-footer to keep East within 23-20. McCall hurled in an 8-foot runner, Pait drilled a 25-footer, and Williams banged in a lay-up for a 30-20 West halftime lead.

Collins began the 2nd half with a 6-footer, but the Knights reeled off a 12-0 run. Pait splashed a 3-ball from the top of the key. Williams drove for a lay-up then spun to the basket for a pair of buckets. Moore buried a 3-ball to stretch the lead to 42-22.

Barnes delivered a pair of 3-balls for East, but Pait knocked down a 3-ball, and Adams sent a feed to Williams for a dunk and a 47-28 West lead at the quarter break.

The final period belonged to Williams as he slammed in 4 dunks and a lay-up off of 3 assists from Moore, and 1 each from McCall and freshman Kendell Lessane. Pait buried another 3-ball and darted to the basket for a lay-up. Adams canned a free throw.

Collins threw in a 15-footer, 2 lay-ups and 3 free throws for East in the final period, and Barnes banked in a 3-ball.

“The kids played well,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “They were unselfish and moved the ball. We only had 2 turnovers in the 1st half.”

Pait continued, “That is a good ball team that East has. They haven’t had the chance to practice but once together because of football. They will get better.”

The Knights, now 2-0, will travel to Wilmington Hoggard Thursday night, while East Bladen (1-1) will host Topsail Thursday night.

East Bladen    11    9   8  12 — 40
West Bladen  15  15  17  16 — 63

East Bladen (40) – Dominick Collins 17, Chace Butler, Sherman Long, Lee Barnes 15, Shannon Hankins, Ronnie Covington 6, Kewone Maynor, Peyton Tatum, Tevin McClean, Rodney Lacewell 2.

West Bladen (63) – Jackson Pait 20, Hezekiah Adams 8, Tylik McCall 2, Kendell Lessane, Conner Monroe, Andre Moore 3, Cornelius Esters, Donovan Tubbs, Ty’Leak Ballard, Chase Williams 30.

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