01/17/10 — Rosewood wins thriller over Spring Creek

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Rosewood wins thriller over Spring Creek

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 17, 2010 12:12 AM

Daniel Mitchell sat in his office slouched back in a chair, his tie undone and his blood pressure still racing.

The Rosewood head coach was still feeling the affects of watching his Eagles escape with a 52-51 win over Carolina 1-A Conference foe Spring Creek on Friday evening.

Rosewood saw a seven-point lead with three minutes to go evaporate and Jyhkia Applewhite missed a pair of free throws with six seconds left as the Eagles clung to a 52-51 lead.

The Gators' rebounded the second missed free throw and quickly pushed the ball up the floor. Deshar Thomas' 3-point attempt from the far wing was off the mark as time expired.

"They got a pretty good look at the end and we're just fortunate it rimmed out," said Mitchell. "We've got to be able to protect the lead in the fourth quarter. We had some turnovers that cost us and allowed them to make some shots and get back in it."

Despite having a timeout left Spring Creek head coach Taylor Jones opted to leave the game in his players' hands in hopes of scoring one last basket in the midst of the late-game chaos.

"With six seconds left on the clock if I call a timeout I'm going to allow them to set up their press defense," said Jones. "If they set up their press there we don't get a scrambled shot. I thought we got a good shot. That was probably a better shot than we would have gotten off a timeout."

The Gators led 37-36 early in the fourth quarter before Rosewood scored 10 unanswered points in a little more than two minutes. Antonio Henriques capped the spurt with back-to-back 3-pointer's that gave the Eagles a 46-37 advantage. Henriques led Rosewood with 14 points off the bench.

"We had some timely shots," said Mitchell. "It seemed like a game of runs. I thought the run there in the fourth quarter was key."

Spring Creek scored five consecutive points and Anthony Green's putback pulled the Gators within 48-46 with a little more than a minute to play. Green scored a game-high 17 points and John Midgette added 15.

The margin was trimmed to a single point twice in the final minute but Spring Creek could never close the gap.

The loss left the Gators (5-7) in an 0-2 hole in conference play. Spring Creek entertains Ayden-Grifton on Tuesday.

"We come back Monday and go back to practice and treat it like any other day and work hard," said Jones. "If we had won I would say we have to work harder. You choose to make your own fate. I've got good kids and I don't think they'll be satisfied with anything."

Jacquez Raynor contributed nine points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Eagles. Rosewood (6-9, 1-1 CC) avoided an 0-2 start in the league and plays host to Goldsboro on Tuesday.

"We talked about that before the game that we definitely don't want to be 0-2," said Mitchell. "You've got to win you're home games definitely. It's going to be a battle night in and night out really. I feel like the conference is going to be pretty balanced. You've got to bring your A game every night."