MOREHEAD CITY — An out-of-sorts night couldn’t deter the West Carteret boys basketball team on Tuesday in a win over Havelock.
The Patriots overcame a cold shooting night and the fewest points scored in a win this season to beat the Rams 52-40, improving to 10-3 overall as they wrap up their nonconference schedule.
West only shot 42 percent from the floor, went 1-of-10 from beyond the arc and held just a 35-27 edge in rebounding, but it was enough to pick up the team’s fifth win in six games.
“We just couldn’t get a rhythm,” West coach Mark Mansfield said. “We weren’t knocking down shots or rebounding well. If we get a few more of those rebounds, that’s a 20-point game.”
The game was a foul-heavy one but not enough for either team to lose key personnel. In the first game against Havelock, where West won 80-74 on the road, senior standout Jaxon Ellingsworth fouled out in the third quarter. In the rematch, Mansfield still wasn’t satisfied with how his team responded in a foul-leaning environment.
“We just have to stay focused and not try to get sucked into someone else’s gameplan,” he said.
Ellingsworth had a solid night for the Patriots, finishing with a game-high 17 points and nine rebounds. He took a few sprawling hits in the contest, hitting the floor more times than the West coaching staff was happy to see.
“(Havelock is) a football school,” Mansfield said, “so when they get on the court, they want to play physical. It’s the battle I expected. It was just a low-scoring one. Neither team shot well, but there was a lot going on in the paint.”
West got its edge late in the first quarter and into the second. Dylan McBride took a layup to the hole to tie the score 11-11, sparking a 12-point run that included another McBride bucket, two from Adam Cummings and one apiece from Rob Cummings and Worth Stack.
The 21-11 lead shrank in the second half, where Havelock cut the deficit to four points on two occasions. Ellingsworth sank the last bucket of the third quarter, giving his team some breathing room and a 35-28 lead going into the fourth, where he scored six of his team’s first 12 points.
The Patriots were pushed to the foul line in the fourth quarter and responded well, finishing 7-of-9. Ellingsworth shot 5-of-6 there.
Havelock only shot 7-of-13 from the foul line. Only Julian Richards converted foul shots, going 7-for-7 as part of an 11-point night.
The Rams didn’t have a great offensive night either, not with Rob Cummings playing the point position in a 2-2-1 press that forced multiple Havelock turnovers that turned into easy transition points. Cummings finished the game with 12 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds.
With four players out due to illness, including starter Jamarion Montford and Xavier Jones, Stack came off the bench to put up eight points, eight rebounds and three deflections.
McBride tallied three rebounds and three steals, Shane Graves had four rebounds, Adam Cummings put up two rebounds, two assists and a block, and Cason Collins had three rebounds.
West will travel to Croatan (1-9) on Friday to start its 3A Coastal Conference schedule.
On Tuesday, it will host Swansboro (13-0) for its first real league test.
Here are results of the game:
Havelock.............................. 11 9 8 10 - 40
West Carteret....................... 17 9 9 18 - 52
HAVELOCK (40) – Richards 11, Steward 8, Cushinberry 6, Vereen 6, Sharpe 3, Moore 2, Taylor-Austin 2.
WEST CARTERET (52) – Ellingsworth 17, R. Cummings 12, Stack 8, A. Cummings 4, Graves 4, McBride 4, Collins 3.