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Southern Lee 65, East Bladen 37

Southern Lee closed the first half with a 20-4 surge that propelled the Cavaliers to a 65-37 boys basketball victory over East Bladen Monday in the opening round of the Woodmen Life Christmas Tournament at West Bladen.

Guard Noah Mellette drilled in a trio of 3-point shots that sparked the Cavaliers to an early 13-2 lead. Eagle senior Dayvon Powell rallied the Eagles by powering in a pair of driving bank shots. Sophmore Sincere Smith put back a rebound to pull East Bladen to within 13-8 at the quarter break.

Powell sank 2 free throws to begin the second period and trim the margin to 13-10, but Cameron Martin buried a 3-point shot, and Mellette drove for a lay-up to cap an 11-0 Southern Lee flurry that stretched the lead to 24-10.

East Bladen center Chris Cromartie flipped in a rebound, and junior Ethan Hines scored a lay-up in transition to whittle the lead to 24-14, but 9 unanswered points pushed the Cavalier lead to 33-14 at halftime.

Ethan Hines nailed a 3-point shot and popped in a pull-up 8-footer to lead the Eagle scoring in the third quarter. Powell spun to the basket for a lay-up and scored again in transition, but Southern Lee stretched the lead to 51-27 at the quarter break.

Senior Jermaine Robinson bombed in a 3-point shot,  Ethan Hines dropped in a follow shot, and Smith canned 2 free throws for the Eagles in the final quarter.

Powell topped the East Bladen scoring with 11 points. Ethan Hines finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.  Robinson followed with 5 points.

Junior Eian Hines grabbed a team-high 5 points and scored 4 points. Smith contributed 4 points and 4 rebounds. Cromartie also pulled down 4 rebounds.

Mellette pumped in 22 points to lead the Cavaliers. Martin followed with 13 points.

East Bladen, now 2-6, will play East Columbus today at 2 p.m. in the second round of the Woodmen Life tourney at West Bladen.

East Bladen (37) –Denzel Johnson 1, Jermaine Robinson 5, Demetrius Wooten, Dayvon Powell 11, Ethan Hines 9, Eian Hines 4, Sincere Smith 4, Chris Cromartie 2, Trevor Lloyd 1, Adonis Avery, Derrick Burney.

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