02/19/04 — ND boys drop Rosewood

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ND boys drop Rosewood

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 19, 2004 1:56 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Rosewood High entered the Class 1-A Carolina Conference boys basketball tournament on the proverbial playoff bubble. Now, that bubble is in danger of bursting and ruining the Eagles' postseason hopes.

Seeded fourth, the Eagles could have solidified their playoff position with a victory against rival North Duplin at Spring Creek on Wednesday evening. However, the fifth-seeded Rebels recorded a mild 66-51 upset and advanced to today's semifinal round at Mount Olive College.

North Duplin (8-11) opposes top-seeded Ayden-Grifton at 7 p.m. at College Hall. If either the Rebels or North Johnston emerge the Carolina tournament champion, Rosewood is eliminated from postseason action. The Eagles (7-14) now must hope that Ayden-Grifton and Spring Creek each win tonight, which would keep the Eagles' playoff aspirations intact.

Spring Creek faces North Johnston, which upset third-seeded Farmville Central 64-54, in the other semifinal.

"I was hoping that we would come out and play with the same intensity and effort that we did last week," first-year Rosewood coach Daniel Mitchell said. "I didn't see that tonight."

Mitchell missed the desire, heart and sense of urgency his team had last week when it reeled off three consecutive victories. The win streak enabled Rosewood to seize the league's fourth and final berth for the playoffs.

The teams battled to a 6-6 tie in the first three minutes of action.

Then the Rebels' Matt Braswell heated up from the perimeter, drilling three consecutive 3-pointers which forced the Eagles to extend their zone defense. That created some spacing for Braswell and the backcourt of Montreal Garner and Charlton Armwood.

The trio fed Saladeem Dewberry with numerous passes in the lane, which led to one-on-one situations. Dewberry converted nearly every possession as North Duplin uncorked a 13-2 run to lead 19-8 after one period of play.

"They spread the floor out and were able to get Saladeem open a few times," Mitchell said. "They did a good job with clock management. You have to give North Duplin credit. They came in and played hard, much better than we did tonight."

But the Eagles weren't done. They fell behind by 16 in the second half, which gave veteran North Duplin coach Ricky Edwards a sense of deja vu. Would Rosewood erase that deficit and escape with a one-point win like it did eight days ago in Calypso?

Kyle Bunn's 3-pointer off a Taylor Carr assist closed the Rebels' advantage to 49-42 with less than six minutes left in the game. The teams traded points on their next possession before Javon Williams came up with a big play underneath the basket.

Dewberry blocked a shot inside, but the Rebels couldn't handle the loose ball. Williams picked it up and laid it off the glass at the 2:20 mark, pulling Rosewood within 51-43. Less than 30 seconds later, Williams drained a pair of free throws to make it 53-47.

"They cut it to six and I thought 'we're in trouble,'" Edwards said. "DeMarco (Kornegay) fouled out, but I thought we hung in there and played pretty good defense in the end."

Garner converted a key layup with 1:20 remaining and that sparked a game-ending 13-4 run for the Rebels. Rosewood had a couple of chances to make it a two-possession game after Garner's layup, but committed costly turnovers which led to North Duplin points.

Dewberry paced the Rebels with a game-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds, six blocked shots and two assists. Braswell added 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Garner finished with 13 points, including 12 in the second half.

Williams and Bunn led Rosewood with 13 points each.

2004 Class 1-A

Carolina Conference

Boys Tournament

(at Spring Creek HS)

Quarterfinal No. 1

North Duplin 19 14 11 22 -- 66

Rosewood 8 12 14 17 -- 51


Matt Braswell 1 4 4-4 18, Charlton Armwood 1 0 2-2 4, Montreal Garner 3 0 7-8 13, DeMarco Kornegay 1 0 1-1 3, Saladeem Dewberry 7 0 8-15 22, Sterling Grice 0 0 3-4 3, Anthony Walls 0 1 0-0 3. TOTALS -- 13 5 25-34 66.


Dustin Overman 1 1 1-2 6, Matt Howell 0 0 0-0 0, Javon Williams 5 0 3-4 13, Kyle Bunn 1 3 2-2 13, Danny Langston 0 0 0-0 0, Antell Richards 1 0 0-0 2, Taylor Carr 4 0 0-2 8, Kyle Grey 3 0 3-5 9. TOTALS -- 15 4 9-15 51.

Three-point baskets -- North Duplin 5 (Braswell 4, Walls); Rosewood 4 (Bunn 3, Overman). Turnovers -- North Duplin 13, Rosewood 15. Total fouls -- North Duplin 13, Rosewood 20. Fouled out -- Kornegay, Overman. Technicals -- none.