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Boys State Play-offs Begin With Rivalry Game for East & West

West Bladen High School LogoEast Bladen High SchoolWeather permitting, the NCHSAA Class 2-A Boys Play-offs will begin tonight (Tuesday) with a rivalry game for Bladen County’s two high schools.

Coach Ken Cross’ No. 29 seeded East Bladen Eagles (10-13) travel to West Bladen to battle their rivals, the No. 4 seeded Knights (20-4) in a 7 p.m. game.

West Bladen won both of the teams’ earlier meetings this year –57-47 in the first game and 61-49 on Feb. 12 which was the last game that both of these teams played.

Senior guard Rahu Purdie leads the Knight offense with an 18 points per game average. The other two members of the West Bladen back-court – senior Malcolm Vaught and junior Stephon McDonald – average 11.6 and 11.5 ppg respectively.

Sophomore Sayaun Dent (7.9 ppg) and senior center Brandon Council (5.2 ppg) are key front-court players for the Knights.

Senior Farrell Murchison paces the Eagle offense with a 12.2 ppg scoring average. Sophomore guard  Eian Hines contributes 9.5 ppg, and junior Jermaine Robinson tallies 7.4 ppg. Other key Eagles include Dayvon Powell (3.3 ppg) and junior center Chris Cromartie (4.7 ppg).

Ethan Hines, the team’s second leading scorer with an 11.3 ppg average, has missed the team’s last 6 games with a knee injury and is not expected back this year. Senior Monterro Graham (9.8 ppg) missed the West Bladen game on Feb. 12.

West Bladen Coach Travis Pait was not thrilled about having to play a rival in the opening round – particularly one that his team already owned two victories against. “We’ll be ready to play,” he said.

On the other hand after traveling to High Point Andrews and Reidsville in the opening round the last two seasons, Coach Cross was pleased that his Eagles didn’t have to make another long trip this season.

The winner of the East Bladen/West Bladen game will face the winner of East Duplin and Southwest Onslow in the second round.

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