PEMBROKE — Malik Livingston’s 21 points wasn’t enough for the St. Pauls boys basketball team in its 72-62 loss to West Bladen in the semifinals of the Robeson County Shootout on Friday night at Purnell Swett High School.
St. Pauls fell behind early, trailing by a margin as wide as 28-12 in the second quarter upon an 8-0 West Bladen run. The Bulldogs, however, clawed back with a whopping 18-0 run, led by Deion Gilchrist who scored 11 of his 17 points during the scoring spree
But after gritting to a 31-30 halftime deficit, St. Pauls (4-4) couldn’t keep up with the Knights (4-2) in the second half.
After Livingston put the Bulldogs up five in the third, West Bladen used a 12-0 run to pull ahead 46-39. The Knights never trailed the rest of the way.
Devonta Smith paced the Knights with a team-high 20 points. Malcolm Vaught and Nate Pryor followed with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Edward Owens led West Bladen on the glass with 10 rebounds.
Jacquell Johnson hauled in a team-best 10 rebounds, adding six points.
West Bladen, competing in the Shootout for the first time this year, will take on Lumberton, winners over Dillon, today at 7:30 p.m. for in the championship game at UNC-Pembroke.
St. Pauls will face Dillon in today’s third-place game at 4 p.m.
Lady Knights nix Red Devils
Courtney Thompson recorded his second straight double-double, penciling in 20 points and 17 rebounds to lead the West Bladen girls basketball team to a 45-29 rout of Red Springs in the Shootout semifinals Friday at Swett High.
The Lady Knights, undefeated at 6-0, jumped out to a 12-0 lead, led by seven from Thompson, and never looked back. Red Springs notched its first field goal at 2 minutes, 26 seconds in the first quarter.
The Red Devils (5-4) were held to three field goals in the opening half.
Robyn McPhaul led Red Springs with 14 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
Red Springs clashes with Fairmont in today’s third-place game at 2 p.m. at UNCP.