By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 15, 2011 1:47 PM
PRINCETON -- North Duplin's season has been a string of successes.
The Rebels won four regular-season games in the Carolina 1-A Conference schedule and earned the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament.
The young squad took another step forward on Monday night with a 41-25, opening-round tournament win over Rosewood at Princeton High School.
North Duplin secured a spot in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs with the victory. The Rebels also inked a date in the semifinal round against top-seeded Goldsboro on Wednesday. Tip-off is 8 p.m.
"The thing that I am happiest about is that we have improved all season long," said North Duplin head coach John Oliver. "We have learned to play a little bit smarter and our offense has gotten better because we stopped standing around so much."
Rosewood started strong against the fifth-seeded Eagles behind five points from Ellen Morgan and opened up a slim 11-10 lead after one quarter. North Duplin rebounded in the second quarter with a 10-6 run that led to a five-point halftime lead.
The Rebels (5-14 overall) upped the advantage to double digits in the third quarter as the Rosewood offense went cold.
"We only have one senior on the team so I was glad to see my girls play smart tonight," said Oliver. "I think we have kind of got the ball rolling in the right direction, and we are going to keep getting better as the season winds down and we get into the summer."
Jessica Jones led the Rebels with 15 points. Angelica Favela added 10 points in the win.
Kelsey Kornegay paced the Rosewood offense with six points. Morgan added five points and Laura Vinson chipped in four points.
Rosewood concluded the season 3-17 overall.