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Wildcats hold off Bucs' rally

New Hanover's Trevon Brown tries to drive in against Laney's Kevin Bell (left) and Tariq Lane during their Friday night game at Laney High School. (Photo by Jeff Janowski)

It didn't come easy, but the New Hanover Wildcats found a way past the host Laney Buccaneers on Friday night by the final of 67-53 in a Mideastern Conference boys basketball game.

The Wildcats had to withstand a furious rally by Laney in the second half after leading by as much as 24 points in the second quarter.

"It was almost like déjà vu from the game at our place," said New Hanover coach Kirk Angel. In that game back on Jan. 18, the Wildcats blew a big second-half lead but won the game in overtime 56-51.

"They had a lot of energy that helped them get back into the game," said Angel. "It was a heated environment, a big-time rivalry. Anytime you can get a win on the road, in conference, it's good."

New Hanover picked up right where it left off Tuesday against Ashley, scoring the first 18 points of the game to lead 18-3 after one quarter. With the Wildcats up 28-4, Laney slowly worked its way back into the game, cutting the lead to 35-22 at the half.

"The last six minutes of the second quarter we completely went away from everything we taught," Angel said. "It seems like they hit about 30 threes."

Laney cut the lead to six late in the third quarter, but that's as close as they got. New Hanover senior Trevon Brown put the team on his back, scoring 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

"Trevon showed you he's a big-time player in a big-time game, in a big-time atmosphere," Angel said. "He's got to put us on his back going into the final stretch."

That stretch looks promising for the Wildcats, as they look as though they are playing their best late in the year.

"We might be peaking at the right time," Angel said. "Maybe our non-conference schedule, which was brutal, will help us out down the stretch."



In the first game of the night, the Bucs used a 9-0 second-half run to pull away from New Hanover and claim their 19th victory of the season.

The Bucs held a slim 13-11 halftime lead, but outscored the Wildcats 16-2 in the third quarter to blow the game open.

Amber Doniere led the Bucs with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Paulette Addison also chipped in 11 for Laney. Kapria Pressley led the way with nine points for New Hanover.