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The host Fike High varsity boys basketball team swished 5-of-6 free throws in the final 17 seconds to hold off neighboring nonconference rival Charles B. Aycock, 52-50, before the smallest Fike crowd of the young season Wednesday night.
The Golden Demons’ Kyshon Atkinson drained a pair of free throws with 8.5 seconds for a 51-47 margin that held up for the team’s third win against one loss.
Fike of the 3-A Big East Conference welcomes county archrival Beddingfield on Friday evening.
The 3-A Golden Falcons of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference dropped to 1-3.
Despite the outcome, Fike players were not in a celabratory mood.
“This is the worst game we have played this year — by far,” said senior guard Mason Lee, who led Fike with 14 points. “The energy wasn’t up and I’ve got to be a better leader.
“The key is that we’ve got to make all the free throws. We made them down the stretch and that was huge. But it was a bad night for everybody.”
Coming off a 67-38 victory against North Pitt on Tuesday, Fike owned the lead except for a couple of instances.
But behind the senior duo of Charles Walker and Alijuan Moore, CBA wouldn’t go away. The Falcons chopped a 10-point deficit to a mere two points before Lee rainbowed in his fourth accurate 3-point shot. The Demons could almost afford to relax when 6-foot-5 senior Moses Parker scored off a slick entry pass from Lee for a 47-39 margin with a minute and 38 seconds remaining.
“Pick-and-roll,” Lee described the play. “We talk about it a lot in practice. Moses came out and screened me. I fed him with a bounce pass, and he laid it in. He missed the foul shot — that was unfortunate.”
But Fike sputtered with missed free throws, turnovers and ill-advised shots.
Lee’s two foul tosses produced a 49-44 Fike lead with 39.9 seconds left. CBA answered with Walker’s 3-pointer. Atkinson knocked down his free throws but, from the corner, CBA sophomore Colby Thompson banked in a 3-point shot with 1.2 seconds to go.
“We knew they were going to be looking for No.12 (Walker) and I told him to let it fly,” remarked CBA head coach Dave Elmore. “I just wish we had been three points down instead of four.”
The Demons managed to inbounds the basketball and draw a foul with two-tenths of a second showing. Atkinson added another free throw.
Atkinson complemented Lee with 12 points, while Khouri Carvey contributed eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Walker poured in a game-high 23 points for CBA and Moore drilled in 16.
Six points each from Lee and Parker staked Fike to a 15-9 margin after one quarter. Walker and Thompson rallied CBA within a point in the second quarter, but Fike came away with a 23-19 halftime lead on Christen Battle’s two free throws with 10.6 seconds left.
Battle and Atkinson sparked Fike to a 10-point lead in the third quarter and the cushion again reached 40-30 on an acrobatic reverse layup from Battle early in the fourth quarter.
“A lot of chances, a lot of missed opportunities,” CBA’s Elmore reviewed. “If they had gone our way, we come out on top. Missed free throws were a big factor. We didn’t attack the zone early enough. We waited a long time; we waited too long.
“But give Fike credit. They’re long and bothered us with their height. We let them get too many second-chance points.Once we figured it out, we got into a rhythm.”
CBA faces a rematch at home with Fike next week and also visits Beddingfield.
CHARLES B. AYCOCK (50)
Moore 16, Walker 23, Poindexter 2, Lane, Jackson, Thompson 6, Robinson, Dixon 3.
Battle 7, K. Atkinson 12, Lee 14, Jones 2, Carvey 5, T. Atkinson, Batts 2, Parker 8.
Score by quarters:
C.B. Aycock 9 10 7 24 — 50
Fike 15 8 13 16 — 52