01/15/12 — Rosewood hangs on against Spring Creek

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Rosewood hangs on against Spring Creek

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 15, 2012 1:52 AM

Rather than try and shut down one of the best scorers in the Carolina 1-A Conference Rosewood opted to force someone else in a Spring Creek uniform to beat them.

The strategy worked to perfection for the Eagles in a 49-45 home victory on Friday night.

The Gators' Rashawn Edwards poured in a game-high 31 points but was one of just three Spring Creek players to score. The Eagles forced 18 turnovers and sank 7 of 9 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.

"Edwards had an outstanding game and he played extremely well," Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell said. "I thought overall we did a good job of defending. We knew coming in they were a bit bigger than us. We did a good job on the backboards and early on we were able to force a couple of turnovers and stretch out the lead a little bit and I thought that was big for us."

The Gators trailed 43-38 with fewer than two minutes to play in the game before Edwards' lay-up with 38 seconds left cut the margin to 44-40. Spring Creek had an opportunity to pull even closer but James Lofton missed the front end of a one-and-one at the free throw line. Dee Mabry made four free throws in the last 30 seconds to help put the game away for the Eagles.

"Something about our focus was not good tonight," Gators' head coach Taylor Jones said. "Rosewood made good plays, there's no doubt about that. Our focus just was not in it tonight. I'll take the blame for that."

Jyonte Raynor led Rosewood with 20 points and Zach Thornton supplied 10 points and six rebounds. Mabry added nine points.

"We've been talking with Jyonte about being patient on offense and not forcing the issue and taking what's there," Mitchell said. "I thought he did that tonight and I thought he stayed within the offense and took it as the game came along."

Adam Haggerty contributed 11 points and eight rebounds for Spring Creek.

The Eagles (5-6, 1-1 CC) began the game on a 12-2 run before the Gators stormed back to tie the score at 20-20 just before halftime.

Rosewood avoided falling to 0-2 in conference play and entertain Goldsboro on Tuesday. Spring Creek (6-6, 1-1) plays host to Ayden-Grifton the same night.

"In this conference it's going to be a battle each night," Mitchell said. "Any team in this conference can beat you on any night. I thought for us, especially on our home court, it was a big win for us."