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West finishes game on 16-2 run to fend off spirited North squad

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North Brunswick takes late lead, but comeback effort ultimately falls short

By Sam Hickman

 SHALLOTTE – For three-plus quarters, North Brunswick took the fight to West Brunswick in a Mideastern Conference rivalry game Friday, Jan. 4, in Shallotte.

Daveon Trillo-Nixon nailed a pair of free throws with 5:07 left in the game as North Brunswick claimed a 43-41 lead over the Trojans, who came into the game on the heels of a two-point loss at North Myrtle Beach (S.C.) on Jan. 2.

West Brunswick junior guard De’Andre Clarida buried an open 3-pointer from the left wing to briefly push the Trojans head 44-43, but North Brunswick senior Davonte Beatty responded 13 seconds later with a deep ball of his own. Beatty’s long-distance trey from well beyond the three-point line staked North Brunswick to a 46-44 lead with 4:11 left in the game.

That’s essentially the last thing that went right for Alvin Thompson’s North Brunswick squad as West Brunswick closed the game with a 16-2 run to earn a 60-48 victory.

The Trojans improved to 7-5 overall and 2-1 in Mideastern Conference play while the Scorpions fell to 4-7 overall and 0-3 in league play.

Trailing 46-44, West Brunswick’s Caleb Gilbert stepped into a contested 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:19 left in the game and knocked it in, putting the Trojans ahead for good.

Beatty was fouled on the ensuing possession, but the usually-reliable free-throw shooter missed both attempts.

West Brunswick rebounded Beatty’s second miss and sophomore guard Makoa Surigao was fouled, which sent him to the line for two foul shots.

Surigao cashed in the first foul shot before missing the second as West Brunswick held a 48-46 advantage with 2:42 left.

North Brunswick ran a great offensive set and created an open close-range shot for senior forward Jaheim Robbins, but the big man missed the shot from the block and West Brunswick’s Jaquice Daniels snared the defensive rebound for the Trojans.

Daniels was fouled on the rebound and the junior forward stepped to the charity stripe with 2:22 left and West leading by two.

Daniels missed the first and made the second foul shot, extending West Brunswick’s lead to 49-46.

The Trojans forced a North Brunswick turnover on the next possession, which led to a missed layup in transition by Daniels. Junior forward Jadyn Parker rebounded the Daniels miss and was fouled on his putback attempt.

Keeping up with the theme of the fourth quarter for West Brunswick, Parker split a pair from the charity stripe as the Trojans nursed a four-point lead at 50-46.

West Brunswick made eight trips to the free-throw line in the final 2:42 of the game and split a pair of foul shots each time.

Clarida alertly tipped away an errant North Brunswick pass after Parker’s made free throw and was fouled on a layup attempt with just more than two minutes left in the contest.

Clarida was fouled on the shot attempt and a North Brunswick player grabbed the loose ball after the whistle. West Brunswick’s J’vian McCray reached in to snatch the ball from a Scorpion player and McCray was charged with a technical foul.

Clarida’s shooting foul free throws preceded North Brunswick’s technical foul shots and after splitting a pair from the stripe, Scorpion guard Travis Lowe stepped to the line with the Scorpions trailing 51-46.

Lowe, who is one of North’s most reliable foul shooters, missed both technical free throws with 1:50 left.

Still, the Scorpions maintained possession and had the ball down by five points with almost two minutes left.

Beatty missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and Clarida was fouled going up for the rebound, which sent the junior to the line for two shots.

Again, Clarida made the first free throw and missed the second as the Trojans had a 52-46 lead with 1:41 left in the game.

North Brunswick missed two shots and grabbed one offensive rebound, but turned the ball over on a possession that took nearly 50 seconds off the game clock.

Surigao was fouled with 59.7 seconds left and he knocked in the first foul shot to make it a three-possession game at 53-46.

The sophomore guard missed the second, but McCray bullied his way through the paint to grab the offensive board before dishing it back to Surigao, who made a nifty driving layup off the glass to give the Trojans a nine-point lead at 55-46.

After a North Brunswick miss with 31 seconds left, Surigao made a free throw to extend the Trojans’ lead to 10. He missed the second foul shot, but McCray once again followed the miss with an offensive rebound. This time McCray put it back in himself as the Trojans led by 12 at 58-46.

The game was much closer than the 60-48 final score indicated.

North Brunswick led 17-12 after the first quarter and neither team led by more than six points until there were 59 seconds left in the game.

West Brunswick outscored the Scorpions 17-8 in the second quarter to take a 29-25 lead into the halftime break, but North Brunswick trimmed the Trojans’ four-point lead to one at 37-36 entering the fourth frame.

McCray led all scorers with 15 points in a game that was physical from the opening tip. West and North were charged with their seventh team fouls late in the first quarter and the physical county showdown featured more than 40 fouls, including a pair of West Brunswick technical.

Surigao scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and Parker finished with 10 points for the Trojans.

Beatty led North Brunswick with 10 points while Lowe and Robbins each finished with eight for the Scorpions.

West Brunswick finished the game 24-of-45 from the free-throw line.

The Trojans were scheduled to host New Hanover in a critical Mideastern Conference game Tuesday, Jan. 8, before traveling to Topsail for a road game Friday, Jan. 11.

West Brunswick are slated to play another county rivalry game Tuesday, Jan. 15, at South Brunswick before matching up against one of the league’s favorites, Hoggard, on Friday, Jan. 18.

North Brunswick was scheduled to host Ashley on Tuesday, Jan. 8, before welcoming South Brunswick to Leland on Friday, Jan. 11. North is scheduled to travel to Topsail on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and New Hanover on Friday, Jan. 18.

North Brunswick was the more physical team through the game’s first six minutes in the 12-point loss at West Brunswick.

Robbins gave the Scorpions an early lead with a bucket in the opening minute. Surigao made a nifty move through traffic in the lane and banked in a shot to knot the score at 2-2.

After Surigao’s bucket, North Brunswick would lead for the next seven minutes of game action.

The Scorpions used an 8-1 run after Surigao’s shot to take a 10-3 advantage early in the game.

Robbins put back a Beatty miss, Trevon Faison made a free throw and Robbins made a layup after a West Brunswick defensive breakdown as the Scorpions took a 7-3 lead.

Beatty came up with a steal and made one free throw and Lowe nailed a floater after coming up with a steal to extend North’s lead to 10-3.

West Brunswick reserve forward Hayden Grimes made a close-range baby hook on a nice interior pass from Daniels to close the gap to 10-5 and Parker converted an old-fashioned three-point play to pull West Brunswick within two with 3:14 left in the first.

Lowe drove to the baseline on the ensuing possession and knocked in a floater to stake the Scorps to a 12-8 lead and Parker split a pair of free throws as the Trojans pulled within three.

McCray tied the game after the Trojans had missed four consecutive free throws with a non-traditional three-point play.

Sean Divine knocked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Trillo-Nixon made an acrobatic shot off the glass in the final seconds of the first quarter as the Scorpions led 17-12 after eight minutes of play.

West Brunswick began the second quarter on an 11-0 run that was highlighted by McCray, who made three buckets and a free throw in a three-minute span to help the Trojans take a 23-17 edge.

Beatty quelled the Trojans’ momentum with a 3-pointer from the corner to pull North Brunswick within three at 23-20, but the Trojans responded with a bucket from Parker, who converted a layup off a nice dish from Daniels.

After a Jieem Bullock free throw and two foul shots from Sean Divine, West point guard Alex Younts sank a pair from the stripe to give the Trojans a four-point lead at 27-23.

Bullock made a great play late in the first half when he saved a missed North Brunswick shot under his own basket and passed the ball right to Robmell Lowery, who capitalized on Bullock’s incredible individual effort with a layup to cut the Trojan lead to two.

Grimes sent his West Brunswick team to the locker room with a four-point lead when he made a shot from the paint to give the Trojans a 29-25 halftime lead.

Robbins scored his fourth and final bucket of the contest early in the third quarter to trim West Brunswick’s lead to two points before a technical foul on Parker handed the Scorpions an opportunity to trim the deficit even more.

Parker was fouled hard on a shot attempt and after the play shoved a North Brunswick defender.

Parker split a pair from the foul line and Lowe split the technical foul free throws as West held a 30-28 lead early in the third period.

After Surigao made a pair of free throws with five minutes left in the third, the Trojans offense went cold for the remainder of the period.

Divine rebounded a blocked shot by West Brunswick and put it in off the glass to again pull North Brunswick within two at 32-30.

Younts briefly ignited the West Brunswick offense with a pair of electrifying drives late in the third quarter. After Divine’s putback, Younts sprinted past a defender on the right wing and made a driving bank shot high off the glass to extend the Trojan lead to four. After a North Brunswick miss, Younts put his head down, drove straight toward a Scorpion defender and spun over his left shoulder to avoid contact before knocking in a left-handed layup to give the Trojans a 36-30 lead, prompting a timeout from Thompson and North Brunswick.

The Scorpions closed the frame on a 6-1 run to pull within one at the end of the third quarter.

Lowe nailed a corner 3-pointer off a Younts turnover, Trillo-Nixon made a free throw and Demond Perry converted a driving layup with 12 seconds left in the third to cut into West Brunswick’s lead at the end of three periods.

The Scorpions wasted little time re-taking the lead early in the fourth quarter. Beatty confidently stepped into a 3-pointer from deep in the corner and buried the shot, putting North ahead 39-37 with six-plus minutes left in the game.

Surigao knocked in a pair of free throws to tie the game, but North Brunswick reclaimed the edge when Bullock had a putback to move North ahead 41-39.

McCray got loose on an inbounds play with 5:28 left to tie the score at 41-41, but Trillo-Nixon swished a pair of free throws with 5:07 left as North Brunswick had a 43-41 edge.

Clarida and Beatty traded 3-pointers before West Brunswick’s 14-0 run effectively put the game out of reach.

 

Trojans win two in holiday tourney

After a heartbreaking 48-46 loss to Whiteville in the opening round of the Adidas Christmas Tournament at West Bladen High School, the Trojans rebounded with a 70-53 win over West Bladen on Dec. 28 and a 53-49 victory over First Flight on Dec. 29.

McCray posted a career-high 24 points in the win over West Bladen on 10-of-16 shooting. He added five rebounds.

Parker recorded a double-double with 13 points on 5-of-6 from the field and 13 rebounds while Younts contributed nine points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in the win. The Trojans were 14-of-20 from the foul line in the 17-point victory.

The Trojans overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to earn a 53-49 win over First Flight, which attempted more than 30 3-pointers in a losing effort.

Parker paced West Brunswick offensively with 18 points while snaring 11 rebounds.

McCray had 12 points and nine rebounds while Surigao finished with eight points and three boards. Younts had eight points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals while Clarida finished with five points, six rebounds and three steals.

West Brunswick suffered a sweep at the hands of North Myrtle Beach, which overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to knock off the Trojans 48-46.

McCray finished with a team-high 15 points and Clarida had 12 for the Trojans, who suffered two losses against the Chiefs this season by a combined four points. Gilbert pulled down 10 rebounds in the loss.

 

Sam Hickman is sports editor of the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com