Marathon Finish: Eagles fall to Bears in 3 OTs
By Malcolm Shields
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
In a matchup of arguably the top two teams in the Northeastern Coastal Conference, four quarters were not enough to decide a winner Tuesday night.
A 3-pointer by Hertford County’s Jaquarii Roberson with less than 30 seconds remaining in the third overtime put the Bears up for good as Hertford County defeated Northeastern 79-77.
Brian Jones led Northeastern (7-1, 1-1 NCC) with 27 points, while Damar Sutton followed with 17 and Garfield Brown 14.
The result snapped a 19-game winning streak in regular season conference games for Northeastern. The setback was the Eagles’ first in the NCC since losing to Edenton on Jan. 20, 2015 at home.
It was a bit of a wake up call for a team that had won their first seven games by double digits.
The Eagles held leads during the overtime periods, but were unable to close out the Bears.
“We got knocked down,” Northeastern boys basketball coach Ronald Nixon said. “That is the bottom line. We shot ourselves in the foot. Like I emphasize to the kids, the only team that can beat us is ourselves.”
The Eagles did have problems defensively in the game staying in front of Hertford County, especially guard Zion Riddick, who scored 19 points.
Riddick scored a basket in the final seconds of the second OT to send the game to a third extra period.
NHS had difficulties generating consistent offense in the halfcourt and rebounding the basketball, which led to second-chance opportunities for the Bears.
Roberson scored a game-high 29 points with 14 rebounds for Hertford County (4-4, 2-0 NCC), which took possession of first place in the league with the win.
Nixon gave credit to Hertford County coach Charles Simmons.
“He prepared his kids very well,” Nixon said.
The NHS coach added that the Bears were hungrier for the victory than his team.
In the overtime periods, Sutton, Jones and Tyleik Overton played key roles in keeping the Eagles in the game.
After only scoring two points in the first half, Sutton scored 15 of his 17 beginning in the fourth and into the overtimes.
Sutton gave NHS a 77-75 lead after a layup with a minute to go in the third overtime.
“They did a tremendous job of being leaders on the team,” Nixon said.
Jones connected on four of eight shots from behind the 3-point line for NHS.
Nixon added that Jones — who played at Pasquotank last season — has done a fantastic job of rebounding and scoring for the Eagles.
Weather permitting Northeastern has the chance to start another streak at Bertie on Friday.
“We got knocked out, but we can still get back up,” Nixon said.
Northeastern 49, Hertford County 38: The Lady Eagles scored the first 10 points in the final period to secure the league victory on Tuesday.
Breanna Proctor scored 15 points with 18 rebounds, four blocks, four steals and two assists for Northeastern (3-5, 1-1 NCC).
Alexis Harris and Corleis Riddick scored 11 points each for the Lady Eagles.
Defensively, NHS did not allow Hertford County (1-9, 0-2 NCC) to score a point in the fourth until Brianna Howard converted on a free throw with three minutes, 14 seconds left.
For video highlights, check out NENCsports.wordpress.com.