Wallace-RH ends Gators' season
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 2, 2004 1:56 PM
TEACHEY -- Ten starters.
The ability to literally go that deep is what got the Wallace-Rose Hill boys basketball team into their Class 1-A N.C. High School Athletic Association sectional final match-up with Spring Creek.
Ultimately, that depth and athleticism saw nine different Bull-dogs register six points or more as the Gators playoff run was stopped in Teachey after an 89-62 loss on Monday evening.
Spring Creek, who set a school record for wins in a season and won its first-ever playoff game last Saturday, concluded its campaign at 21-8.
Following the game, first-year coach Sonny Kilpatrick believed his team had nothing to be ashamed of. They were simply outmanned.
"My guys thought they could play the whole ball game. They didn't want to come out, but they just couldn't make it," Kilpatrick said. "Wallace-Rose Hill has 10 players and I couldn't tell if it was first team or second-string. They just out-ran us."
"We didn't give it to them, they took it."
The Bulldogs, missing two key starters from last year but with a solid core of returning players, will make their second-straight trip to the regionals in Greenville after falling in the eastern finals last season. Wallace-Rose Hill will face Weldon in the semifinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University.
The Carolina Conference's top-seed, Ayden-Grifton, takes on Plymouth in the late semifinal on Thursday.
In their finale, Spring Creek staged a pair of its patented scoring surges, erasing deficits and putting themselves back into the game.
After falling behind 25-15 after the first period, the Gators forced a handful of turnovers and benefited from several Bulldog fouls that put Spring Creek in the bonus early in the second. Seniors Grey Wilson and Shane Stevenson took advantage and combined to knock down six-of-six from the free-throw line. Wilson, who finished with 17 points, capped an 11-0 run in a two-minute span to pull the Gators to within three at 29-26 at the 4:40 mark of the second.
As quick as Spring Creek charged back into the game, Wallace-Rose Hill increased its margin again.
The Bulldogs countered the Gators streak with a 15-2 edge of their own, capped by a three by Corey Rhodie in the left corner. Rhodie came off of the bench to score 11 points for Wallace-Rose Hill, including seven in the second.
Down 50-28 at the half, Spring Creek came out firing in the third period as game-high scorer Josh Bishop scored five points in a one-minute span. Bishop finished a strong junior campaign with a 21-point effort. Stevenson, who finished with 15 points, drilled a jumper, at the 6:40 mark to top off an 8-0 run and pulled the Gators to within shouting distance at 50-36.
Wilson followed with a four-point play, then made three-of-three from the line after being fouled again on a three-point try, making the game even closer at 58-47 with 3:50 left in the third.
Again, the Bulldogs countered quickly. Point guard Darrell Dixon picked up a steal and hoop with just under two minutes left in the period to re-boost his team's margin to 68-51 as Wallace-Rose Hill closed the third with a 14-5 run.
"I knew coming out in the second half they were going to make a run at it, because they have three tremendous shooters on that team," Wallace-Rose Hill coach Steve Robinson said. "I thought our kids held their composure and being able to keep fresh people in there helped. I think they used a lot of energy getting back in and it wore 'em down a little bit."
From the start, it was obvious the Bulldogs were comfortable and capable of playing in an up-tempo affair that has favored the Gators in many of their 21 wins this season. Seven Wallace-Rose Hill players scored by the first period's end, with a handful coming on second-chance points by team-high scorer Melvin Edwards, who finished with 17 points. Paced by Edwards and teammate Jeremy Perkins, the Bulldogs were able to control the offensive glass for most of the night.
Wilson, Stevenson, Brian Armstrong, Michael Broadie, Tavaris James, Albert Newborn and Jacob Odom -- all seniors -- played in their final game for the Gators.
"I can't take much credit, because when you've got good ball players, you don't have to be much of a coach," Kilpatrick said. "For the most part, the players just do things so well and it makes things so easy.
"I'm going to miss all my seniors, because they are great kids."
2004 Class 1-A
N.C. High School Athletic Association
Sectional No. 2 Final
(at Wallace-RH HS, Teachey)
Spring Creek 15 13 24 10 -- 62
Wallace-RH 25 25 22 17 -- 89
SPRING CREEK (21-8)
Josh Bishop 6 2 3-3 21, Grey Wilson 2 2 7-10 17, Shane Stevenson 4 1 4-6 15, Brian Armstrong 2 0 0-0 4, Michael Broadie 1 0 0-0 2, Mychael King 1 0 0-0 2, Chris Wright 0 0 1-2 1, DeQuan McLamb 0 0 0-2 0. TOTALS -- 16 5 15-23 62.
WALLACE-ROSE HILL (25-3)
Melvin Edwards 8 0 1-3 17, J.T. Carr 5 0 3-5 13, Corey Rhodie 3 1 2-2 11, Marquise Murphy 2 0 5-6 9, Malcolm Boney 3 1 0-0 9, Jeremy Perkins 2 0 4-6 8, Darrell Dixon 3 0 0-0 6, Adrian Hall 3 0 0-0 6, Nate Irving 2 0 2-2 6, Derrick Newkirk 1 0 0-0 2, Marshall Rhodes 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 33 2 17-24 89.
Three-point baskets -- Spring Creek 5 (Bishop 2, Wilson 2, Stevenson), Wallace-RH 2 (Rhodie, Boney). Turnovers -- Spring Creek 18, Wallace-RH 19. Total fouls -- Spring Creek 19, Wallace-RH 19. Fouled out -- none. Technicals -- none.
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