West Brunswick boys beat East Bladen

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By Michael Paul, Sports Editor

 The West Brunswick boys’ varsity basketball team beat East Bladen 70-56 Jan. 8 in a conference game.


Four Trojans scored at least 10 points: Zaire Hankins (10), Markel Jones (11), O.J. Hill (12) and Phil Gause (16).

Hill scored nine of West’s final 16 points. He scored seven straight points as West extended its lead from 59-54 with 3 minutes, 8 seconds left to 66-54 with 1:32 left.

Other scorers for West (3-1 in the conference, 6-6 overall): Gray Cheers 5, Antonio Clarida 4, Quentin Ash 4, Saadiq Johnson 4, Jawon McNeil 4.

For the game, West made 30 of 47 free throws; East Bladen, 11 of 30.

“It was one of those games we had to grind it out,” West coach Eric Davis said. “The officials were calling it very tight. And we’re not shooting the ball very well from the free-throw line.

“I felt defensively we did some really good things. I think we’re getting better defensively.”

West led 46-31 with about 4:30 left in the third quarter, but the Eagles rallied and cut the lead to 59-54 with 3:08 left in the game.

The Trojans went into a four-corner offense, and Hill got open for a jump shot from the left wing. East Bladen missed a shot with 2:45 left and Cheers got the rebound. Hill hit an jump shot with 2 minutes left, and that put West ahead 63-54.

Hill made two free throws with 1:43 left and one of two with 1:32 left, and those scores gave West a 66-54 lead and clinched the victory.

“He’s starting to play with a lot more confidence,” Davis said. “He was one of our better JV players last year. He has really stepped up the last five, six ballgames.

“He is shooting the ball well from the free-throw line. Going into tonight, he was shooting 82 percent from the line, which is our best free-throw shooter. Anytime he is on the line, I am confident that he is going to make free throws.”

In the first quarter, baskets by Gause, Cheers and Jones put West ahead 9-2. Back-to-back scores by Hankins—a layup and a 3-pointer from the left wing—gave West a 14-5 lead. Johnson hit a 3-pointer as West ended the quarter ahead 19-13.

The Trojans led 24-15 with 4:55 left in the half when East Bladen rallied off two three-point plays—a free throw, a missed free throw, a rebound, a score—and cut the lead to 24-21.

West led 29-27 late in the half, but Cheers hit a 3-pointer and Gause made a layup in giving the Trojans a 34-27 lead. The lead would have been larger, but West missed 10 of 21 free throws.


West varsity girls lose

East Bladen beat West Brunswick 61-41 in a varsity girls’ basketball game.

For the game, West missed 25 of 42 free throws.

For West (2-10 overall), Dazia Gause scored 16 points, Kianna Pigott 11 and Yana Bland 10.

Other West scorers: Bre Small 5, Allison Brown 2.

West led 16-15 at the half but East Bladen outscored the Trojans 26-7 in taking a 41-23 lead. East Bladen scored most of the points when West was without guard Yana Bland, who was hurt in the opening seconds and sat out 4 minutes, 30 seconds.

In the first quarter, West missed seven free throws, made six fouls and committed seven turnovers, yet led 8-5 until East Bladen hit a 3-pointer just before the quarter ended.

West trailed 15-12 late in the second quarter, but Brown hit a short jumper and Small scored seconds before the quarter ended, and that put West ahead 16-15. The lead might have been bigger had not the Trojans missed seven of nine free throws. For the half, West missed 14 of 18 free throws.


West JV boys win

The West Brunswick junior varsity boys’ basketball team beat East Bladen 30-27.

Nasir Murray made a layup with 30 seconds left to give West a 28-27 lead. With 18 seconds left, John Jordan blocked a shot. After a timeout, Jordan forced a turnover, which led to a possession in which Tyquan Hill was fouled with 8.6 seconds left. He made both free throws to clinch the victory.

For West (9-1 overall), Hill scored eight points and Murray seven.

Other West scorers: Tayevonne Evans 1, Chase Hill 2, Alex Clarida 5, Shermonde Fulwood 2, Xavier Gause 2, Landon Patterson 1, Jordan 2. West made 9 of 20 free throws.


West JV girls win

The West Brunswick junior varsity girls’ basketball team beat East Bladen 43-10.

Yasmine Daniels scored 10 points and Sherill Grissett hit a 3-pointer and scored eight points. Other West scorers: Hayden Huffman 2, Britnee Taylor 6, Morgann Tew 6, Jameisha Sapps 4, Brielle Sanchez 2, Christian Strickland 3 (a 3-pointer), Myan Brown 2.

West is 1-2 in the conference, 3-6 overall. East Bladen had seven players. West outscored the Eagles 13-1 in the first quarter and 22-4 in the second half.