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West Bladen Hosts Athletic Southwest Onslow Club Tonight

West Bladen High School LogoWest Bladen’s Knights, the No. 4 seed in the NCHSAA Class 2-A East Play-offs, host a senior-laden, athletic Southwest Onslow club tonight at 7 p.m. in a second-round game.

In a strange set of circumstances because of the snow and ice and the way the brackets fell, the Knight boys will play their second round game tonight, before East Bladen or West Bladen’s girls get a chance to play their opening round game. Both county girls teams are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Coach Travis Pait’s Knights, now 21-4, held off a late East Bladen rally to defeat the visiting Eagles 58-53 Wednesday night.

Senior guard Rahu Purdie poured in 21 points in that game and leads the Knight scoring with an 18.1 points per game average. Junior Stephon McDonald threw in 13 points against East and is West Bladen’s second-leading scorer with an 11.6 average.

The key play of the night was turned in by senior guard Malcolm Vaught who ended 4-minute scoring drought with a driving lay-up that ended a 13-0 Eagle spurt and gave the Knights their final margin of victory. Vaught finished with 10 points and averages 11.5 ppg for the season.

Sophomore forward Sayaun Dent contributed 8 points against the Eagles which is his average for the season. Big center Brandon Council adds 5 ppg to the Knight offense.

Coach Tommy Barnes’ Southwest Onslow Stallions are the No. 20 seed in the East and bring a 15-9 record into Friday’s game. Included among those 9 losses are 4 losses to Class 2-A East No. 1 seed Jacksonville Northside and 2 more to 17-5 South Lenoir.

After a cold shooting third quarter last night in Beulaville put the Stallions down 39-31 at East Duplin, Southwest lit up the scoreboard with 27 final period points to pull out a 58-55 victory over the Panthers.

Southwest is led by 6-6, 205-pound Jay Pouncey who averages almost 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. In the East Central Conference Tournament, Pouncey was a double-double machine with 19 points and 18 rebounds in the title game loss to Northside, and 25 points and 16 rebounds in a 67-54 win over East Duplin.

Senior forward Jalen Hodge fires in over 15 points and grabs 7 rebounds per game for the Stallions. Hodge poured in 25 points in the ECC title game loss to Northside.

Senior guard Ladwuane Edwards is the Stallions 3-point bomber. Edwards averaged 9 ppg on the season but threw in 7 3-point shots in the ECC tournament and scored almost 14 ppg in the tourney. Edwards connected on four 3-balls in a win over Croatan and had five 3-pointers in the regular season finale against Dixon.

Lethan Pollock, a 5-10 guard, averaged 10 ppg in the ECC tourney. Another senior, Deonte Taylor mans the point guard spot.  The Stallions only have one non-senior who plays a significant role and that is sophomore guard Deaje Foskey.

Friday night’s winner advances to the Sectional Final. On the other side of the Sectional Bracket are No. 5 seed Fairmont, Southwest Edgecombe, No. 12 seed Clinton and the Durham School of the Arts.

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