WILMINGTON — East Bladen’s boys whittled an 18-point deficit down to five late in the game Tuesday, but couldn’t get any closer and dropped a non-conference matchup with Ashley High, 56-50.
The loss drops the Eagles to 1-3, while Ashley improved to 4-1.
East Bladen opened the game with a 5-2 spurt, but the Screaming Eagles finished the first quarter with an 11-3 run to open a 13-8 lead.
That momentum continued for the home team in the second stanza, highlighted by a trio of three-pointers, and outscored the Eagles by a 20-11 margin to open a 33-19 lead at intermission.
East Bladen used three-pointers by Adonis Avery and J.R. Robinson early in the second half during an 8-4 spurt that pulled the Eagles to within 37-27, but Ashley finished the third quarter with a 7-2 run to carry a 44-29 lead into the final 8 minutes.
That’s when East Bladen really went to work.
Th Screaming Eagles opened a 47-29 lead early in the quarter, but East Bladen again got three-pointers from Avery and Robinson and a number of transition baskets pulled the Eagles to within 50-43 with about a minute left to play.
A steal and basket sparked a 5-2 spurt by East Bladen that featured a three-pointer by Denzel Johnson and pulled the Eagles to within 53-48 with 12 seconds left on the clock. It was the closest East Bladen could get.
“We played hard for one quarter, the last one,” East Bladen coach Ken Cross said. “We won’t win like that.”
Robinson led the Eagles with 13 points while Johnson scored 11. Nine players scored for East Bladen. Demetrius Wooten was credited with 4 steals.
The Eagles will open Four County Conference play on the road at Midway on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.