Buie leads Western Harnett over Jackets
At 6-foot-3, Jonathan Buie is the closest thing Western Harnett’s basketball squad has to a big man. Buie plays that position well, as well as being the Eagle point guard.
On Thursday night at Lee County, Buie totaled 22 points, 15 rebounds and five steals to lead the Eagles to their first win of the season, 54-47 over the Yellow Jackets.
The Jackets (1-2) prevailed 54-52, on a last-second basket by Dante Graham, at Western Harnett last Friday. In the rematch, the Jackets jumped out to a 17-5 lead and didn’t look as though they’d need a buzzer-beater for the win.
The Eagles (1-7) chipped back within a 20-16 deficit at halftime and played a back-and-forth second half, led by 21 points by Buie in the half, before taking the lead for good with a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter.
Lee County led 34-33 through three periods and Hunter Jackson’s three-pointer put the Jackets ahead 40-37.
Buie made two at the foul line, followed by Rory Saliger Jr. making two free throws, putting the Eagles up 41-40 with 3:59 left.
After each side traded a couple scoreless trips, the Eagles forced a Jacket turnover near midcourt. Lee County’s Dante Graham picked up his fifth foul on the scramble, plus a technical foul. The technical was Lee County’s third of the game and sixth in its two meetings with the Eagles.
Saliger went 4-for-4 at the line. The Eagles added a bucket a couple possessions later for a 47-40 lead. Lee County couldn’t cut the lead within five points the rest of the way.
In their home opener after the win at Western Harnett and a Tri-9 loss at Apex, the Yellow Jackets came out flying. Graham scored six points in an 11-2 Jacket lead in the first four minutes. Graham found Dewaun McEachin for an alley-oop jam for a 17-5 Jacket lead shortly into the second quarter.
The Eagles changed the momentum out of halftime with a 10-4 run, taking a 26-24 lead, in the first 2:15 of the second half.
In addition to Buie’s stat line, Saliger scored 13 points. Elliott Terry had seven points. William Carter had six points and eight rebounds.
Graham had eight points, five steals and five assists for the Jackets. Trevon Watson had eight points. McEachin had seven points and eight rebounds.
Western Harnett will host Harnett Central Monday at 8 p.m., then Southern Lee Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Lee County played Fuquay-Varina last night and has another conference game Tuesday at Middle Creek at 7 p.m.