South Johnston tops Spring Creek
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 30, 2009 1:46 PM
KENLY -- Spring Creek couldn't quite finish the deal.
The Gators came away empty on seven straight possessions down the stretch and fell 53-48 to South Johnston in the semifinals of the North/South Christmas Classic on Tuesday night at North Johnston High School.
Spring Creek faces North Johnston in the third-place game at 8 p.m. tonight.
The Trojans led 24-15 at the half and 35-31 after three quarter before John Midgette's 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 39-37 early in the fourth quarter.
South Johnston built a 45-40 lead but Dontay Boseman's 3-pointer pulled Spring Creek to within 45-43 with less than four minutes to play. The Gators trailed 45-53 with less than three minutes to play but missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Trojans answered with five consectuive points in less than two minutes to push the lead to 50-43.
Spring Creek struggled to score on critical trips down the floor late in the ballgame while South Johnston iced the victory by going 11 for 14 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"There were a couple of times right around the rim we just couldn't quite finish," said Spring Creek head coach Taylor Jones. "You could see the kids were wanting it. I was really proud of our effort and our fight."
Dolton Bledsoe scored a game-high 26 points for the Trojans and his consistent outside shooting forced the Gators out of their zone defense and into a man-to-man in an attempt to negate Bledsoe's hot hand.
"I thought they did a good job of trying to control the game and spread us out," said Jones. "Bledsoe is a wonderful shooter. There were some times where we didn't contest his shot. He's averaging 19 points a game so he's doing something right. We have to do a better job of contesting shots because we're going to face some great players this year."
Melvin Deveaux led Spring Creek with 13 points and Midgette added 11.