01/11/12 — Gimmick defense helps Bulldogs

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Gimmick defense helps Bulldogs

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 11, 2012 1:48 PM

CALYPSO-- Princeton made the most of a critical defensive adjustment.

North Duplin was left feeling the absence of its leading scorer.

The Bulldogs benefited from a switch to a triangle-and-two defense and rode the heels of 12 unanswered points to a key 61-49 road win in Carolina 1-A Conference play Tuesday night.

The Rebels played the entire second half without senior guard Devin Oliver, who suffered an ankle injury early in the second quarter.

North Duplin built a 13-4 lead midway through the first quarter behind the strong outside shooting of Oliver and Breyon Johnson. AJ Smith knocked down a 3-pointer and Aaron Simpkins provided a lay-up to pull Princeton to within 17-15 entering the second quarter.

The Bulldogs scored the first seven points of the second quarter to go in front 22-17.

Oliver appeared to twist his ankle while penetrating through the lane to the basket fewer than three minutes into the second quarter. He was helped to the bench and did not return.

"I just hope Devin's OK," Rebels head coach Ricky Edwards said. "He's got to go to the doctor and get it looked at. We had to keep playing regardless. I thought Princeton played really good defense. That had a lot to do with it."

North Duplin (3-8 overall, 0-2 CC) responded with six consecutive points of its own to take a 27-24 advantage and eventually lead 29-28 at halftime.

Princeton (8-7, 1-1) implemented a triangle-and-two defense in the second half and outscored the Rebels 33-20 over the final two quarters. Dalvin Stancil scored 18 of his game-high 22 points after halftime.

After North Duplin's Larry White tied the game at 35-35 with a layup late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs reeled off 12 straight points to break open the game. Princeton consistently beat defenders off the dribble to the basket throughout the second half.

"We started out trying to play 3-2 zone and they've got really good guards," Bulldogs' head coach Jeff Davis said. "We went triangle-and-two on them and that aggravated them. It's hard to prepare for that. We got a big enough lead where we could pull the ball out and hold it, and they had to go man-to-man and that opened up the middle for us."

CJ Jeffreys and Smith both finished with 11 points for Princeton.

Johnson led the Rebels with 15 points and Tyler Royal had eight.

The Bulldogs visit Goldsboro on Friday, while North Duplin travels to Ayden-Grifton.