Rosewood boys preserve road win at free throw line
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 21, 2012 11:07 PM
CALYPSO -- What could have been a disastrous second half eventually turned in Rosewood's favor Friday evening.
The Eagles endured an 81/2-minute drought without a field goal, but converted pivotal free throws down the stretch in a 56-49 triumph over Carolina 1-A Conference rival North Duplin.
Dee Mabry, Josh Davis and Zach Thornton combined to drain 13 of 16 attempts from the charity stripe in the final 31/2 minutes, and help Rosewood (6-7 overall) even its conference worksheet at 2-2 this season.
"(The intensity) picked up on the both ends (in the fourth quarter)," said Eagles' head coach Daniel Mitchell. "The crowd got excited a little bit over some calls, but I thought we did a good job of shooting free throws and being able to maintain the lead.
"I was really pleased that we kept our composure."
Rosewood owned a 20-11 edge at the charity stripe for the game.
"It was a good ballgame," said North Duplin head coach Ricky Edwards. "Rosewood shot the ball extremely well, they made free throws and shot the ball well in the first half. They played extremely well."
The Eagles led 29-18 at intermission and expected the Rebels to sit back in a zone in the second half. They weren't wrong, but they struggled to score and committed costly mistakes that allowed North Duplin (3-10 overall, 0-4 CC) to creep back into the contest.
Tyler Royal (13 points) and James Kornegay provided the offensive punch, and the banged up and bruised Rebels trailed 31-27 after three periods.
"We had a little bit of a lead, and we wanted to be patient, pass the ball around, not be in a hurry and I thought we may have gotten a little too passive," said Mitchell. "There were times where we'd kill the clock a little bit and then we'd turn the ball over ... that may have been my fault and I'll take responsibility for that."
Bret Robinson's 3-pointer off Davis' assist, Thornton's score underneath and Mabry's drive through the defense kept Rosewood ahead early in the fourth. Daron Goodman and senior Brock Konner, who played four quarters for the first time in nearly a month, countered with two field goals apiece during that span.
One possession separated the teams on the scoreboard until Davis' layup off a North Duplin turnover, and his single free throw a few seconds later extended pushed the Eagles ahead 47-44.
Mabry (17 points) added two free throws to make it 49-44 at the two-minute mark. Consecutive offensive putbacks from Brock and Kornegay (15 points) trimmed the deficit to 51-49 with 58 seconds left on the clock.
The Rebels didn't score again and the Eagles nailed 6 of their final 7 free throws to seal their fourth road win of the season.
"I was tickled we were able to make that run in the fourth quarter, but I thought Rosewood closed it out real well," said Edwards.