SC boys, RHS girls claim wins
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 15, 2006 2:24 AM
Spring Creek boys coach Sonny Kilpatrick believes his team needs to continue to improve on the defensive end to make a run at the Class 1-A Carolina Conference title.
At the end of Friday night's contest at Rosewood, the Gators looked like a team making those strides.
Facing an Eagles' squad that rallied from a nine-point deficit after three quarters to get within striking distance in the late stages of the fourth, Spring Creek swiped several steals down the stretch and put the game away at the free throw line -- winning 62-58.
After shooting just 3-of-13 from the stripe in the first three quarters, the Gators (6-10, 2-1) bounced back to nail 11-of-16 in the fourth. Josh Wright and Cliff Wilson, who each finished with 12 points, led the effort at the line -- combining to make 10-of-11. Spring Creek's Dalreese Bell led all scorers with 24 points with at least two field goals in each quarter.
"We weren't hitting (free throws) early in the game, but we made them when we needed to in the end," Kilpatrick said. "I thought our defense was better. It's not where it needs to be, but it's better. I want to see us grow from game-to-game, especially defensively."
Rosewood (2-13, 0-3) had six turnovers overall in the fourth, including four in the last 1:30.
Clarence Toran had a huge second half for the Eagles, scoring 14 of his 18 points after intermission and helping his team methodically cut into Spring Creek's margin. Kyle Bunn added 17 points and shot 9-of-10 from the stripe.
"Effort-wise, we got behind, then we picked up the intensity. We had opportunities and looks at the end, but we didn't take care of the basketball," Rosewood coach Daniel Mitchell said. "When it's crunch time, you can't turn it over. This was a big game for us. It's not going to get any easier, and we've put ourselves in a little hole in the conference at 0-3."
After a sluggish first quarter, Spring Creek built its lead in the second behind an 13-2 run during a mere one-minute span. During the spurt, Bell had a 4-point play, a 3-pointer and one assist to Wilson as the Gators' jumped ahead 27-15 late in the quarter, before leading 29-20 at the break.
Spring Creek, which one its second straight on the road in Carolina play, was never able to pull away from its county rival in the third, but maintained a 9-point advantage with the scoring of Bell and Wilson. Meanwhile, Rosewood's Toran finished with six points in the third, while teammate Goss Kendall added a 3-pointer near the three-minute mark as the Eagles continued to hang in on their home floor.
Within three minutes in the fourth, Rosewood posted a 10-4 run and trailed just 48-45 with five minutes left as the game. The Eagles would get within two, three times in the next three minutes, the last coming at 54-52 on a Holt Rains basket underneath near the two-minute mark. From there, Spring Creek seemed to tighten up defensively -- yielding just one more field goal the rest of the way as turnovers plagued the Eagles in the late stages.
"I thought all our guards did a good job getting some steals. They (Rosewood) are a scrappy ball club and they've got a good coach," Kilpatrick said.
In the girls game, Rosewood forced a number of Spring Creek's 41 turnovers and never trailed in an easy 52-30 win to remain unbeaten in conference play.
The Eagles (10-2, 3-0) jumped out to a 21-2 lead after the first quarter, scoring mostly off of Gators' miscues. Courtney Hill and Clare Narron, who had 14 and 13 points respectively, scored eight points each in the first.
Spring Creek (2-14, 1-2) turned in improved play in the second quarter, outscoring the home team 12-7 to cut the lead to 28-14 at the half. Using a 14-3 run to start the third quarter, the Eagles boosted their advantage to 42-17 -- pulling away after Hill's third, 3-pointer. Using a mixture of lineups, Rosewood overcame 30 turnovers of its own and finished just 10-of-29 from the free throw line in a game mired with a combined 43 fouls and 71 turnovers.
"When we had our first five in the game, we played really well," Rosewood coach Jerry Narron said. "We wanted to get a lot of work for our reserves tonight. We've done a pretty good job with free throws this year, but tonight was the worst we've done with that by far."
Brittani Billups led the Lady Gators and all scorers with 22 points, including 12-of-14 shooting from the stripe. Tomeka Pride added seven points for Spring Creek.
"We just didn't show up to play tonight. We knew they were number one in the conference, but that's no excuse for how my girls played," Spring Creek girls coach Mandy Ramjford said.
Spring Creek 2 12 5 11 -- 30
Rosewood 21 7 19 5 -- 52
SPRING CREEK (2-14, 1-2)
Brittani Billups 5 0 12-14 22, Tomeka Pride 3 0 1-3 7, Barbara Witherington 0 0 0-1 0, Margo Sauter 0 0 1-4 1, Maura Phipps 0 0 0-2 0. TOTALS -- 8 0 14-24 30.
ROSEWOOD (10-2, 3-0)
Courtney Hill 2 3 1-4 14, Clare Narron 5 0 3-5 13, Kasie Braswell 5 0 0-1 10, Shanita Monroe 2 0 4-14 8, Stephanie Rhodes 0 0 2-2 2, Halie Meadows 0 0 0-3 0, Karli Beasley 1 0 0-0 2, Shantal Johnson 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 16 3 10-29 52.
3-point goals -- Rosewood (Hill 3). Turnovers -- Spring Creek 41, Rosewood 30. Total fouls -- Spring Creek 21, Rosewood 22. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.
Spring Creek 11 18 15 17 -- 62
Rosewood 9 11 15 21 -- 58
SPRING CREEK (6-10, 2-1)
Dalreese Bell 6 3 3-8 24, Cliff Wilson 2 1 5-6 12, Josh Wright 3 0 6-7 12, Daniel Chewning 4 0 1-3 9, Desmund Raeford 2 0 0-1 4, Carsheme Ruffin 0 0 0-4 0. TOTALS -- 17 4 14-29 62.
ROSEWOOD (2-13, 0-3)
Clarence Toran 8 0 2-6 18, Kyle Bunn 4 0 9-10 17, Holt Rains 5 0 0-1 10, Stephen McIntyre 3 0 0-0 6, Zach Hardison 1 0 0-0 2, Goss Kendall 0 1 0-0 3, Dhanraj 0 0 1-2 1. TOTALS -- 21 1 13-2158.
3-point goals -- Spring Creek 4 (Bell 3, Wilson), Rosewood 1 (Kendall). Turnovers -- Spring Creek 10, Rosewood 16. Total fouls -- Spring Creek 19, Rosewood 21. Fouled out -- Chewning (SC). Technical fouls -- Raeford (SC).
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