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The host Fike High varsity boys team assumed possession of the 3-A Big East Conference lead with a back-and-forth 64-58 conquest of Rocky Mount on Tuesday night.
The Golden Demons improved to 3-0 in the conference and to 12-4 overall. Northern Nash, which did not play Tuesday night, is also unbeaten in the conference at 2-0.
Fike visits Northern Nash on Friday night. The Knights also play Thursday against conference foe Franklinton.
The Demons won the battle of attrition against Rocky Mount, now 0-2 in the Big East. Three Gryphons’ inside performers fouled out in the final quarter.
Fike also lost 6-foot-4 junior Moses Parker via the foul route with some three minutes remaining, but head coach Brent Secrest said 6-1 freshman Devonte Thomas and Zy’ree Wilder stepped in capably in Parker’s absence. Parker wound up with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Senior Elijahwon Cooper fired in 15 points for Fike, while senior Jaylen Ward netted 11. Thomas provided nine points and eight rebounds.
Secrest said the Gryphons hurt Fike inside in the early going, but added the Demons capitalized after Rocky Mount post players encountered foul troubles.
The Demons’ biggest lead was six points, while Rocky Mount’s largest margin was eight. The fourth quarter see-sawed until Fike managed a working margin in the closing minutes.
“We are playing well enough to win,” Secrest noted, “which is what you’ve got to do this time of the year. We know that every game in the conference is going to be a tough game. Whoever can hold their composure at the end of the game is probably going to come out on top.”
The Gryphons (10-4) got 12 points from Ta’vaughan Parker and 10 from Keeshawn Silver.
ROCKY MOUNT (58)
Gray 4, Knight 2, Parker 12, Harrison 8, J. Ward 7, Dunston 1, B. Ward 8, Silver 10, Dupree 6.
Ward 11, Atkinson 4, Cooper 15, Wilder 7, Lee 2, Thomas 9, Parker 16.
Score by quarters:
Rocky Mount 12 16 17 18 — 58
Fike 14 15 16 19 — 64