Published: 11:02 PM, Fri Jan 04, 2013
Hoke County boys beat Seventy-First, 75-72
Putting his Hoke County Bucks' 75-72 win over Seventy-First in perspective was pretty easy for senior guard Tarique Thompson.
The game might not be a conference matchup, but after the Falcons defeated the Bucks in Raeford last month, Thompson savored Friday's victory.
"It just feels good," Thompson said. "We had to prove that last game was a fluke."
Thompson scored a game-high 30 points in the win, leading the Bucks (11-1) in a back-and-forth game that resulted in the Falcons' first loss of the season.
Seventy-First (12-1) led in the first half on the strength of a varied offensive attack and full-court pressure that forced the Bucks to turn over the ball.
Falcons guard Marcus Williams lit up the scoreboard in the second quarter, scoring 17 of Seventy-First's 27 points in the frame for a 48-45 Falcons' lead at halftime.
Williams led the team with 23 points, including five 3-pointers.
The Falcons led 64-56 at the end of the third, but the Seventy-First defense atrophied in the final period, scoring just eight points.
Meanwhile, the Bucks rolled, capitalizing on transition opportunities to gain the edge in the fourth quarter.
Guard Brennen Wright's layup with 1:30 left to play put the Bucks ahead 71-69. A Seventy-First turnover on the ensuing inbounds play gave the ball back to Wright, who was fouled by Quincy Swait.
Wright was good for both free throws, giving Hoke a 73-69 lead with 40 seconds to play. Falcons' guard Sidney Knox answered with a 3-point goal to cut the lead to a point.
Another trip up the court for Hoke resulted in another foul by Seventy-First. This time it was the Bucks' Tymell Blue who made both free throws, putting his team ahead 75-72 with 16 seconds to play.
Seventy-First's Williams and Knox both took final shots from behind the arc in an effort to tie the game, but neither try fell. Williams has 27 3-pointers on the season. Knox has 19.
"I thought I had a good look, but it just didn't fall this time," Knox said. "It would have been good to win, but our goals for the season are the same."
Knox has spoken before about the Falcons' goal to win the state championship. The Falcons' postseason run last year was halted with a loss at Hoke County in the second round of the NCHSAA 4-A playoffs.
That history has Falcons' coach David Simmons already looking ahead to the team's next meeting.
"Now we've won one, and they've won one," Simmons said. "Hopefully, the next time we play, it will be for higher stakes."
Hoke County 75, Seventy-First 72
Hoke County- Tymell Blue 12, Harris 8, Wright 8, Shaw-Willis 2, Parker 8, Tarique Thompson 30, Book 4
Seventy-First- Sidney Knox 16, Swait 7, Vince 4, Marcus Williams 23, Watson 4, Dominic Page 12, Anderson 2, Harvey 4.
Fouled out: SF - Swait
3-point goals: HC - Blue, Thompson 4. SF - Knox 3, Williams 5, Page 2
Records: Hoke County 11-1, Seventy-First 12-1
Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at 609-0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.