02/17/10 — Sixth-seeded Dawgs shock third-seeded Spring Creek

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Sixth-seeded Dawgs shock third-seeded Spring Creek

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 17, 2010 1:46 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Princeton head coach Marty Gurganus broke his team's season into three parts when the year began. The non-conference schedule, the conference slate and the postseason.

The Bulldawgs are undefeated in the latter.

Princeton pulled off an improbable 36-33 upset of Spring Creek in the opening round of the Carolina 1-A Conference girls' basketball tournament on Tuesday evening.

"I am really proud of how these girls came out and played well in all three facets of the game," said Gurganus. "We played hard, we played together and we played smart."

For much of the night, the Gators were their own worst enemy at the free throw line. They connected on just 13 of 38 attempts and struggled to find any offensive flow.

"That is the ballgame right there," said Gators' head coach Amanda Ramfjord. "That stat speaks for itself, especially in a close game."

Princeton opened up a five-point lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a basket by Tylan George. Spring Creek answered with a foul shot from Stacey Harris and a basket by Melanique DeVeaux.

With his team's lead cut to 30-28 and just five minutes to play, Gurganus turned to his spread offense and forward Rebecca Harlan responded with a pair of jumpers from the foul line.

After an extended dry spell by both teams, DeVeaux cut the lead to one with a driving layup as the clock ticked under 90 seconds.

In the final minute Princeton's Megan Gerrell drew a foul and connected on both shots.

Trailing 36-33 with seven seconds to play, the Gators earned a chance for the potential game-tying shot, but watched as a desperation 3-pointer missed the mark.

"I told my girls after the game finally ended that we are back to 1-0," said Gurganus. "We have an opportunity to play another game and that's all you can ask for."

George paced the Dawgs with 12 points and eight rebounds. Kaitlyn Peedin added eight points. Princeton (5-18 overall) faces second-seeded Ayden-Grifton in semifinal-round play Thursday at North Duplin. Tip-off is 6 p.m.

Jana Price led the Spring Creek offense with 11 points. DeVeaux added 10 points and six rebounds. The playoff-bound Gators (8-13) return to action next week.