Aycock girls ease past Panthers
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 7, 2010 1:47 PM
PIKEVILLE -- A lesson learned.
Charles B. Aycock kept its composure in the final critical minutes against North Johnston, and triumphed 52-48 on the varsity girls' basketball scene Monday evening.
Imari Howell paced the Golden Falcons' attack with a double-double -- 16 points, 15 rebounds. Center Ivy Hartzell and point guard Courtnei Gilbert supplied 11 points apiece for Aycock, which improved to 3-2 on the season.
Four days ago, the Golden Falcons failed to execute down the stretch in a loss against county rival Goldsboro. This time, they cleared the boards and hit enough free throws to hand the Panthers their first defeat of the season in five outings.
"I think (the Goldsboro loss) helped," said Aycock head coach Laura Romo. "I thought the difference in the second half (tonight) versus the first half is we started to box out. We weren't doing that the first half. We were turning in spots, but we weren't boxing out.
"In the second half, we finally started to box out because they were bigger than us. We put a body on someone and I think that was really the key to the game."
North Johnston led 42-36 heading into the final period.
Hartzell ignited a 10-4 run with a traditional three-point play that started on Kendra Speight's steal. Howell's layup off a Gilbert steal, and then a steal and layup from Gilbert closed the gap to 46-44.
Howell's offensive putback knotted the contest at 46-46.
The Panthers grabbed a brief 48-47 lead on Jemel McCoy's backdoor layup. Gilbert's offensive putback and free throw with 32.3 seconds left put Aycock up 50-48.
Kelby Dumond forced a held ball on North Johnston's possession after Gilbert's free throw. Howell got free underneath the basket, missed the shot and got fouled on the putback attempt. She hit the back end of the two-shot foul to make it 51-48.
The Panthers committed another turnover and Gilbert sealed the outcome with another free throw with 1.6 seconds to go.
"The last three minutes we were more solid, so we learned a little bit (from Goldsboro)," said Romo.
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