12/22/09 — Princeton boys top Rosewood

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Princeton boys top Rosewood

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 22, 2009 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- Anything can happen in a rivalry game.

Monday evening was no exception.

Princeton raced out to a 19-point lead early in the second quarter, endured a scoring drought and withstood a furious rally by archrival Rosewood. The Dawgs eventually escaped 67-62 in overtime.

"It's almost like we are not the same team from one half to the next," said Princeton head coach Jeff Davis. "We look great for a stretch and a few minutes later we look lost. I can't figure it out."

The Dawgs' senior leadership paid dividends down the stretch.

Trailing 54-49 with four minutes to play in regulation, the Eagles (3-7 overall) got a 3-pointer from Jonathan Franks and a pair of free throws by Antonio Henriquez to tie the game.

Andre Nixon sank a pair of foul shots to give Princeton the lead, but a bad foul near midcourt allowed Cody Harris to tie the game at 58-58 in the final minute. After a Princeton turnover, the Eagles got the last shot but a 3-point heave by Jykhia Applewhite missed the mark and forced overtime.

"It was an amazing job by our guys to suck it up and make that comeback," said Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell. "We had a chance to win the game in regulation and that's about all I could ask for."

Princeton point guard David Gurganus took over in overtime. The diminutive leader drove through the lane for a layup that resulted in a three-point play. After a defensive stop, Gurganus found Matt Williamson for a shot that led to two free throws and a 65-60 lead.

Gurganus sealed the win by making one out of two shots at the line on the Dawgs' next possession.

"We played 10 guys tonight and I thought we did a pretty good job overall," said Davis. "But we had 13 turnovers in the second half and we shot 50 percent from the foul line, and that is simply not good enough."

Nixon led the Dawgs offensively with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Gurganus added 13 points and Williamson tallied 12 points.

Jacquez Raynor and Henriquez each scored 17 points to lead the Eagles. Cody Harris added 11 points, all in the second half.

"Jacquez is just getting fully back from a football injury," said Mitchell. "I thought we did a good job of getting him touches tonight and he made the most of them."

Rosewood will battle Kipp Pride at 6:30 p.m. in third-place game of the tournament. Princeton (5-3) faces Rocky Mount Prep in the championship.