C.B. Aycock falls to Rocky Mount
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 27, 2010 11:36 PM
ROCKY MOUNT -- The record-setting season in Charles B. Aycock boys' basketball history concluded Friday evening.
Rocky Mount made sure it happened.
Division I signee Tashawn Mabry pumped in a game-high 17 points, leading the Gryphons to a 77-59 victory over the Golden Falcons in their N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A sectional championship contest.
Ranked No. 4 in the latest NCpreps.com poll, Rocky Mount (21-3 overall) secured its first regional appearance since 2006. It will play an undetermined opponent on Thursday inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on the East Carolina University campus.
"They earned to be where they're at right now," said Golden Falcons head coach David West of the Gryphons.
Aycock did, too.
Senior guards Isaac Ryals and Tyheim Pitt collected 13 points apiece for the No. 5-ranked Golden Falcons, who played for their first sectional title since 1994. Junior swingman Brandon Winford provided a double-double with 15 points and 19 rebounds, while senior Donte Gills knocked down nine points.
The Golden Falcons finished a program-best 24-4 overall, and captured the Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season and tournament crowns.
On the bus trip from Pikeville, West reminded his team that rebounding and converting free throws would be exceptionally important to staying within striking distance of the highly-talented Gryphons.
Physically out-matched underneath the basket, Aycock attacked Rocky Mount's zone and shot 12 of 16 from the free throw line in the opening half. However, the Golden Falcons couldn't equal the Gryphons' short scoring outbursts and trailed 41-30 at halftime.
Rocky Mount extended its defense in the second half, pressured the perimeter and turned Aycock into a jump-shooting team. The ploy worked as the Gryphons controlled the boards and paraded to the free throw line.
"They just came out, played so well on the perimeter and you have to credit them," said West. "I don't think they wanted it any worse than we did, they just made their opportunities on defense and took advantage of them on the offensive end.
"We had a lot of opportunities on defense, too, when we weren't getting beat down low. We just couldn't convert like they were doing."
The Gryphons owned a 25-15 edge at the free throw line and made just two more field goals than the Golden Falcons for the game. Each team committed 18 turnovers.
Mabry, the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,321 points, and frontcourt mate Detrail Jenkins (11 points) grabbed nine rebounds apiece. Darius McKnight logged a double-double -- 15 points, 11 rebounds. Teammates Terrill Hilliard and William Young each pitched in 11 points.