02/23/05 — Eagles soar into second-round matchup at Midway

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Eagles soar into second-round matchup at Midway

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on February 23, 2005 1:56 PM

During the Class 1-A Carolina Conference tournament, the Rosewood's women's basketball team was unable to get revenge against league rival North Johnston in the semifinals.

Tuesday night in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, the Eagles bounced back off of that loss with an easy, 72-32 win at home over Heide Trask.

The victory sets up a match-up with another team that has been a thorn in the side of Rosewood (16-8) in recent years -- Midway. The Raiders and center Laura Cochran defeated the Eagles twice in a three-day span earlier this season, after eliminating Rosewood from the playoffs in a nail-biter in the second round in 2004.

Midway (23-2) comes into the second round match-up on a 16-game winning streak.

"We played them early. We've improved a lot, and I'm sure they have to. I think we are going to be fine with them," Rosewood coach June Hill said. "They have an outside and an inside game. We've got to play an excellent game against them.

Tuesday, the Eagles (Carolina No. 3) forced 13 Titan turnovers in the first period and rolled out to a 21-6 lead after one. Rosewood picked up four more miscues before intermission and charged ahead 38-16 heading into the locker room.

Trask (Coastal Plains No. 4) never managed more than 11 points in a single period with most of its offensive output coming from behind the 3-point arch -- facing a double-digit deficit for nearly all of the contest. Seven of the Titans' eight total field goals were 3-pointers.

Offensively, Rosewood displayed balanced with four players reaching double figures. Jessica Hill and Clare Narron scored 16 points each, while Stephanie Rhodes contributed 14 with Latita Wade adding 10. Eight Eagles had at least one field goal as Hill consistently used a variety of lineups, mixing offenses and defenses through the game.

"I think everybody did a good job. We mixed things up ... played different offenses and different defenses, and everybody switched over quickly and did a good job at it," Hill said. "We've got the strongest second five in the conference. When my first team needs a rest, I can put them in there and they can hold their own.

"Fundamentally, this is one of the best teams I've ever had. Still, I don't think is the best we have played."

Rosewood started each of the first three periods with convincing runs, beginning with a 17-3 start in the first four minutes. The Eagles started the second with a 10-0 sprint, before outscoring the visitors from Pender County 12-0 to open the half.

Against Midway, Rosewood fell 46-40 on Nov. 30 at home, then 51-44 two days later in Spiveys Corner. Cochran, a six-foot-two senior center, was the only Raider in double-figures in both games -- scoring 14 and 33.

"If she (Cochran) is on, they are going to be hard to beat. But, if we can shut down Helen Moore (North Johnston), we can shut down anybody," Hill said.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Midway.