ELIZABETH CITY – Northeastern surged ahead early and never looked back.
The Eagles went on a 7-0 run midway through the first period, taking an 11-4 lead and propelling themselves toward the Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament championship.
Northeastern took a 21-12 lead after one quarter and never looked back as they knocked off league champion Hertford County 72-50.
With the scored deadlocked at 4-all, the Eagles went on a 7-0 run sparked by Matt Dixon and ended by a triple from Maltavis Hoffler. The result was an 11-4 lead for the Eagles.
Hertford County got as close as 13-10 on back-to-back buckets by Tydreke Powell, but Dixon buried a triple and Jeremy Banks scored as Northeastern surged ahead 21-12 by the end of the first quarter.
The Eagles extended their lead with a 7-2 run midway through the second period, going ahead 25-19 before Hertford County made a late run.
A hoop by Powell followed by two free throws from Andre Lyles and a bucket by Marcus Burnell helped HCHS get within 37-25 at the half.
Northeastern started the third quarter with six straight points n two each from Dixon, Banks and Deronte McNeil n as they built a 43-25 advantage with 6:23 to play in the period. The Eagles led 57-39 by the end of the quarter.
Dixon led all scorers with 28 points while Banks had 18 for Northeastern and McNeil added 14 points.
Hertford County was led by Powell’s 17 points and 10 from LaMarcus “Buck” Jenkins. Danny Dembry added six for the Bears while Burnell had five and Lamar Monger and Antonio Branch added four each.
The loss dropped Hertford County to 22-3 on the season. They met Currituck in the opening round of the sectional playoffs Monday night in a game that ended too late for press time.
Northeastern (72): Matt Dixon n 28, Jeremy Banks n 18, Deronte McNeil n 14, M. Hoffler n 6, C. Morris n 6
Hertford County (50): Tydreke Powell n 17, LaMarcus Jenkins n 10, D. Dembry n 6, M. Burnell n 5, A. Branch n 4, L. Monger n 4, A. Lyles n 2, D. Porter – 2