Lady Eagles soaring
By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on February 12, 2006 2:31 AM
PRINCETON -- Jerry Narron believes his Lady Eagles can soar to new heights during the postseason.
Trouble is, the Rosewood girls basketball coach won't be around to see it.
Narron reports to spring training in Sarasota, Fla., this week to resume his duties as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
He leaves behind a Lady Eagles team that just put the finishing touches on one of the program's finest regular seasons. With its convincing 65-32 triumph at archrival Princeton on Friday night, Rosewood finished a perfect 10-0 in the Carolina Conference and 18-3 overall.
The Lady Eagles' regular-season championship was the program's first in 66 years.
"I'm ready (to go to spring training)," Narron said with a big smile. "But I hate to leave these girls before the conference tournament. That's the difficult part.
"We've got a good team, I think they can play with anybody. I think this is a group that can get their pictures on the wall. They're ready to go -- they can get there without me, for sure. But I'd like to be there with them."
Assistant Jennifer Cochran will take the reins as Rosewood opens conference tournament play Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Mount Olive College against the winner of Monday's contest between No. 5 North Duplin (7-9, 3-7) and No. 4 Spring Creek (5-18, 4-6).
Against Princeton (13-9, 5-5), the Lady Eagles led just 12-10 after one quarter, but broke the game open by outscoring the home team 37-11 over the middle two periods. Courtney Hill and Kasie Braswell scored 17 points each while Clare Narron added 11 to pace the Lady Eagles.
C.C. Sanders led the Lady Bulldogs with nine points. Princeton will begin the conference tournament with a 7:30 p.m. contest Monday at home against winless Ayden-Grifton (0-20, 0-10).
"We worked this week on our spacing against the press," Princeton coach Ricky Boyette said. "We did a fair job of breaking it early and kept the game close, but we just couldn't score. We needed a run that we didn't get to start the second half, then we wore out a little and they started getting easy buckets. But we didn't stop hustling."
Rosewood battled early foul trouble as Hill and Braswell both picked up their third foul in the first half while Narron and Mary Jo Moore spent a good bit time on the bench with two fouls.
"If we can keep our top six girls on the floor and out of foul trouble, I think we can beat anybody," coach Narron said. "Kasie Braswell and Courtney Hill both had great offensive games, and Shanita Monroe (nine points), Stephanie Rhodes (two points) and Kasey Grey gave us great defensive efforts.
"And Clare chipped in and did some good things when she wasn't on the bench with foul trouble," he added with a laugh.
Narron was also pleased with the progress of Moore and Halie Meadows (three points), who have seen more action in recent games.
"Our top six are very experienced, and Halie and Mary Jo are getting some more experience and are progressing," he said. "We've got a pretty good team here this season."
Rosewood 12 16 21 16 -- 65
Princeton 10 7 4 11 -- 32
ROSEWOOD (18-3, 10-0)
Courtney Hill 3 1 8-10 17; Shanita Monroe 4 0 1-6 9; Jennifer Hall 2 0 2-2 6; Stephanie Rhodes 1 0 0-0 2; Clare Narron 3 0 5-6 11; Halie Meadows 1 0 0-2 3; Kasie Braswell 7 0 3-6 17. TOTALS -- 21 1 19-32 65.
PRINCETON (13-9, 5-5)
Stephanie Daughtry 2 0 0-1 4; Kaitlyn Haddock 1 0 1-3 3; Amber Wood 1 0 0-0 2; Brittany Rose 1 0 0-0 2; C.C. Sanders 3 0 3-7 9; Brittany Baker 0 0 0-2 0; Brittany 0 0 0-1 0; Tiesha Williams 1 0 2-3 4. TOTALS -- 9 0 6-17 32.
3-point goals -- Rosewood, 1 (Hill); Princeton, none. Total fouls -- Rosewood, 16; Princeton 20. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.
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