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Boys Basketball Whiteville 64, West Bladen 59

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BLADENBORO – Juniors Wendell Smith and Antonio McFadden made key plays down the stretch as Whiteville defeated West Bladen 64-59 Friday night in Three Rivers Conference boys basketball action.

Senior Tyre Boykin sank a free throw to edge the Knights in front 59-58 with 1:21 left to play, but McFadden tied the game 10 seconds later with a foul shot.

Smith stole the ball and raced for a lay-up to put the Wolfpack on top 61-59 with 26 seconds remaining. After the Knights missed 2 foul shots, Smith sealed the verdict with 3 more free throws.

McFadden was a force inside for Whiteville connecting on 13 of 20 free throws to lead the Whiteville scoring with 25 points. Smith finished with 17 points.

Boykin buried a 3-point shot and 3 free throws to start the game then sent an assist to senior Nijeah McKoy for a lay-up. An assist from senior Nolan Bryant resulted in another McKoy lay-up and a 10-2 lead.

McFadden made 6 of 8 free throws, and Smith beat the first period buzzer with a 3-point shot that rallied Whiteville to a 16-12 lead.

Boykin canned a 16-footer and flipped in a runner, and Bryant drilled in a corner 3-ball to pull the Knights even 19-19. A pair of Smith 3-pointers keyed a 12-3 Wolfpack run, but junior Josh Lewis nailed a 3-pointer, and McKoy muscled in a pair of rebound baskets to keep West within 33-27 at halftime.

Boykin and Adams bombed in 3-point shots to knot the score 33-33 in the third quarter. Four baskets and a free throw from McFadden keyed a 15-6 Wolfpack run, but Adams delivered a 3-point shot to close the gap to 48-42 at the quarter break.

Boykin hit 5 free throws, and McKoy tossed in lay-ups off of assists from Adams and Bryant to trim the margin to 54-51. Bryant fired in a 3-pointer to tie the game 54-54, and Lewis canned 2 free throws to knot it again 56-56. Another McKoy lay-up off of an Adams assist evened the count again 58-58.

“If we don’t turn the ball over, we win the game,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “Sixteen for 27 at the foul line isn’t good enough to win.” The Knights were charged with 24 turnovers in the game – 11 in the second half.

Boykin led the Knights with 20 points and 6 rebounds. McKoy followed with 14 points and 4 rebounds. Adams finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

The Knights, now 4-3 overall and 1-3 in league play, will play Scotland Thursday night in their own Adidas Christmas Tournament.  Whiteville, now 4-0 in league play and 4-1 overall, will also play Thursday in the same tournament.

Whiteville         16    17   15   16  – 64
West Bladen     12    15   15   17  – 59

WHITEVILLE (64) – Wendell Smith 17, Zim Wilson 6, Ty Moss 4, K. J. Hall 4, Antonio McFadden 25, William Goodwin 2, Ervin Moore 2, Bryson Cokley, Isaiah Currie 3, Jakeim Carmichael, John Baldwin 1.

WEST BLADEN (59) – Gary Parker 2, Josh Lewis 7, Shy’Ron Adams 10, Tyre Boykin 20, Jadacus Register, Tra’shawn Ballard, Nijeah McKoy 14, Xayvon Davis, Nolan Bryant 6.