North Johnston women win OT thriller at Rosewood
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 12, 2005 2:00 PM
Fans hoping to see dazzling offensive displays did not get their wish on Tuesday night at Rosewood as both games between the Eagles and rival North Johnston proved to be defensive struggles.
The visitors from Johnston County managed to hold on to both Class 1-A Carolina Conference battles.
The Lady Panthers, who benefited from 33 Eagle turnovers, held Rosewood to one field goal in the overtime period on their way to a 41-37 win. Before fouling out in the extra period, Helen Moore paced North Johnston (9-4, 4-0 Carolina) with 19 points.
Trailing 39-37 with 1:20 left, the Eagles (7-5, 2-2) had three final turnovers in the closing moments, while Lakisha McFadden knocked down two-of-two with 11 seconds left to push the score to its final margin.
"I thought it was both defense on both ends. Anytime the top few teams in this conference play, it's going to be an outstanding ball game," Rosewood women's coach Jerry Narron said. "Those girls (North Johnston) really get after it defensively, and they are well coached. Hopefully, next time we play them we will be ready."
Similarly, the Rosewood boys (5-7, 1-3) went over three minutes in the late stages of the fourth period without a point, committing a handful of costly turnovers. Still, the Eagles' Dustin Overman's 3-pointer brought his team within two at 46-44 with 8.4 seconds left.
After North Johnston's Brad Holloman made one-of-two at the stripe, the Eagles called timeout, then got a decent look on a three to tie the game, but the shot missed -- sealing a 47-44 victory for the Panthers.
Statiscally, the men's game was even with both teams making 17 field goals. The Panthers (8-5, 3-1) managed to get to the line eight more times and committed seven fewer turnovers than the home team.
"We never could get in much of an offensive rhythm all night. Some of that could be the fact that we got into foul trouble," Rosewood coach Daniel Mitchell said. "The effort is always there, we just didn't execute. You can't turn the ball over down the stretch like that and expect to win."
Danny Langston and Antell Richards led the Eagles with 10 points each, while Jake Lomonaco, despite not scoring a field goal in the second half, finished with 17 for North Johnston. Post players Brandon Sanders (12 points) and Willie Smith (10 points) also contributed for the Panthers.
"Our defense Friday night against Princeton was poor. We did a better job defensively ... moving our feet and contesting shots," North Johnston coach Derrick Johnson said. "Jake is a scorer for us and a leader, but we also have other guys who can step up.
"The difference for us was our defense."
Neither boys team sprinted out to a large lead. Rosewood's biggest advantage of the first half came late in the first period when Langston drained a jump shot to put his team up 10-5. North Johnston held a brief, four-point margin with three minutes left in the second.
At the 4:30 mark of the third period, the Panthers' Willie Pearce capped a 6-0 run -- driving uncontested through the lane to give the visitors a 27-22 advantage. Mitchell quickly called a timeout and Rosewood responded with a 7-0 surge of its own to take a two-point lead.
"Neither team let a team run and hide. Both teams fought hard," Mitchell said.
The two teams traded baskets in the early and middle stages of the fourth with the Eagles' Kyle Grey putting Rosewood back up by one at 3:11 with a basket down low. From there, the Eagles didn't score again until Overman's 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left.
North Johnston's women looked poised to pull away midway through the third when Moore picked up a steal, then converted on the other end to make it 23-15. The Eagles slowly trimmed the margin down, allowing only one more basket the rest of the period.
The fourth period remained tight as Rosewood eventually took a 28-27 lead with 4:06 left on a basket by Hill on an assist from Latitia Wade. After the Eagles' Sarah Poole tied the game with one minute left, the Panthers milked the rest of the clock in regulation. North Johnston's Brandy Holland had a good look from outside at the buzzer, but her jumper missed long.
Even without one of its leading scorers on the floor -- Clare Narron, who fouled out in the fourth -- it looked as if the Eagles would take the momentum when Moore picked up her fifth personal. Still, North Johnston maintained enough defensive intensity to never allow the Eagles to take the lead in overtime. Caroline Hines, Amanda Pope and Brandy Holland all recorded field goals in overtime for the Panthers, while Shanita Monroe managed the only basket in the extra period for the Eagles.
Courtney Hill came off the bench to lead Rosewood with nine points.
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