The West Bladen Knights trailed by 20 points, 53-33, going into the final quarter against the Whiteville Wolfpack Wednesday night, but battled to pull within two points before losing 67-63 in the non-conference basketball game played at Whiteville.
The game stayed close in the first quarter with neither team leading by more than four points. A basket and free throw by Cruz Drake to close out the scoring in the period left the contest tied at 11-11.
Whiteville began to pull away midway the second quarter and led 33-23 at halftime. The Wolfpack continued to extend its lead in the third quarter, taking the 53-33 lead.
A 3-pointer by Matt McCall to open the final period started a an 11-point run for the Knights that trimmed the deficit to nine points, 53-44, with 5:46 left to play.
Drake, who ended the night with a game-high 21 points, scored and McCall connected with another 3-pointer as the Knights cut the margin to 57-51 with a little less than four minutes left to play.
Two free throws by Joe Gore along with baskets by Cruz and Jamel Hall left the Knights down by two points, 61-59, with a minute and one-half remaining, but that was as close as West Bladen Could get.
Whiteville hit 8-of-10 free throws over the final two minutes to keep its lead.
Along with Drake’s 21 points, Hall chipped in with 15 and Gore scored 12. McCall had eight points, Rod Baxley five and Kendrick McKoy two.
Nur Abdulla paced the Wolfpack with 16 points and Sprandon Mahoney added 14. Chris Grant scored 12 points, Alex Royal 11, Harrison Jordan nine, and Ramell Godfrey five.