DUBLIN — The West Bladen High boys opened defense of their 2-A state title on Monday with a 64-43 thrashing of South Lenoir High.
The Knights opened a 15-6 lead in the first quarter and were never challenged the rest of the way. The lead was widened to 32-18 at intermission and, after South Lenoir closed to within 43-32 after three quarters, West Bladen put the game away with a 21-11 run through the final quarter.
Rodd Baxley led West Bladen with 20 points on four 3-pointers, and teammate Donte McKoy added 16 points. Cruz Drake also got into double figures with 12 points.
Knights beat the Wolfpack
On Wednesday, the Knights survived an up and down first half to beat Whiteville in the second round of the state playoffs.
West Bladen opened an 18-7 lead after a strong first quarter, but the Wolfpack stormed right back before halftime to close the gap to 25-23.
In the second half, West Bladen used a 15-8 run in the third quarter to widen the lead, then traded 17 points with Whiteville down the stretch to take the win.
Drake led the Knights with 18 points, while Donte McKoy added 13 and Baxley had 12.
West Bladen, now 25-2, will host East Duplin, 20-6, in a third-round game tonight.