Princeton boys grind out victory
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 17, 2010 1:46 PM
PRINCETON -- Grind it out.
Princeton held off a scrappy North Duplin squad with a workman-like effort, and claimed a 68-50 win in the quarterfinals of the Carolina 1-A Conference boys' basketball tournament Tuesday evening.
The Bulldogs face second-seeded Ayden-Grifton on Thursday at North Duplin. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.
The Rebels cut a 14-point halftime deficit to seven in the fourth quarter but Princeton hit 11 of 16 free throws over the final four and 1/2 minutes.
"We didn't play great but we got a win," said Bulldogs head coach Jeff Davis. "We'll take a win. We're halfway there. We've got to get two more wins this week."
North Duplin struggled to get defensive stops in the fourth quarter. Tyler Royal's 3-pointer cut the margin to 56-47 with two minutes to play, but it proved to be too late.
"We just needed a stop or two," said Rebels head coach Ricky Edwards. "Give credit to Princeton. They hit some shots there at the end and we just weren't quite able to get back into it."
Princeton's interior duo of Matt Williamson and Andre Nixon controlled the glass all night. Williamson finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Nixon added eight points and 14 rebounds.
T.J. Wilson chipped in 17 points and seven rebounds.
"They're a good post tandem," said Davis. "North Duplin doesn't really have a true post player and that's our advantage against them."
James Kornegay led North Duplin (2-20 overall) with 13 points and five rebounds. Devin Oliver and Shayne Deaver both provided 10 points.
The Bulldogs split with Ayden-Grifton during the regular season winning 79-61 at home and dropping a 52-50 decision on the road.
"These guys really want to win this tournament," said Davis. "We lost five conference games and four of them were by a combined 10 points. We feel like we're better than our record indicates.
"We would love to win those last two. We haven't won a conference tournament here since '82. It would be nice to win one."
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