12/15/11 — Lakewood-Rosewood boys

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Lakewood-Rosewood boys

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 15, 2011 1:48 PM

Rosewood nearly gave away a win with a woeful night at the free throw line.

The Eagles found a way to redeem themselves on the defensive end.

Rosewood came up with critical stops and made just enough free throws to hang on for a 58-54 overtime victory over visiting Lakewood on Wednesday night.

Two quick layups from Josh Davis gave the Eagles a 52-48 lead early in overtime. The Leopards pulled to within 54-52 on Nick Butler's free throws with 37 seconds to play. Rosewood made two of five free throws in the closing moments and Dee Mabry's three-point play sealed the win.

The Eagles used a trapping full-court press to force 12 turnovers in the second half and overtime. The press disrupted Lakewood's offensive and allowed Rosewood to turn steals into layups.

"We switched to a full-court man-to-man trapping defense and it really caused some turnovers and made them uncomfortable and got us back in the game," Eagles' head coach Daniel Mitchell said. "We got a lot of effort on the defensive end."

Forward Zach Thornton scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed key rebounds down the stretch.

"Zach was in foul trouble early on and I thought he came up big for us in the second half," Mitchell said. "He got some big rebounds for us late in the game. They got us on the boards a little bit in the first half and I thought we did a better job in the second half."

Rosewood (4-4) prevailed despite shooting 15 for 34 from the free throw line. Seventeen of those missed free throws came in the second half or overtime. The Eagles had an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation but were unable to score on the final possession of the fourth quarter.

Lakewood led 24-21 at the half and built a 30-21 lead early in the third quarter. Rosewood began forcing turnovers and Mabry and Jyonte Raynor each knocked down a 3-pointer during an 8-0 run that tied the game at 36-36. Mabry led all scorers with 15 points. Raynor had 12 points and Joel Davis added nine.

"It was just defensive effort and defensive intensity," Mitchell said. "The guys got after it in the full-court press and we got a couple of layups off of it. I just wish we could have made those free throws at the end of regulation."

Tony Smith scored 14 points for the Leopards.

The Eagles visit Charles B. Aycock on Dec. 29.