CAMP LEJEUNE — The East Carteret boys basketball team escaped Lejeune 69-58 Friday for its fifth straight win.
The Mariners (9-3 overall) only led 18-17 after the first quarter and just 42-37 at halftime but held on with a strong third quarter to improve to 5-1 in the 1A/2A Coastal 8 Conference.
They trail only Pender (7-0) now in the league standings, as the two battle for only one guaranteed 1A spot from the conference in the state playoffs. The team that does not get that guaranteed spot will look for a wild-card selection.
Fouls played a role in the win over Lejeune (7-7 overall, 3-4 in conference), with the two teams combining to attempt 36 free throws. East finished 13-of-21 and Lejeune 13-of-15.
Perry Austin was East’s best free-throw shooter, going 5-of-7, and he was the game’s top scorer with 21 points. Caleb Hymon scored 20 and Bennie Brooks 15 to also reach double figures.
Hymon and Brooks scored four points apiece in a crucial third quarter in which East outscored the Devil Pups 15-9. Austin scored three in the period, and Mason Rose added two. Rose finished the game with eight points, while Henry Tillett scored three and Thomas Wallace two.
Lejeune’s top scorers were Jaylon Armstrong and Andrew Naverro with 20 apiece. Armstrong led the Devil Pups at the charity stripe, finishing 10-of-11.
East only played one game this past last week due to exams. This week will feature two games, both at home. The Mariners will host Croatan (6-7 overall) on Tuesday and Pender (10-4) on Friday.
Here are results of the games:
East Carteret... 18 24 15 12-69
Lejeune........... 17 20 9 12-58
EAST CARTERET (69) – Austin 21, Hymon 20, Brooks 15, Rose 8, Tillett 3, Wallace 2.
LEJEUNE (58) – Armstrong 20, Naverro 20, Simon 12, Harris 4, Debose 2.