01/28/12 — Ayden-Grifton boys take down Rosewood

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Ayden-Grifton boys take down Rosewood

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 28, 2012 11:11 PM

A good first quarter cannot win a game.

But bad first quarter can certainly lose it.

Rosewood made only one field goal in the opening eight minutes of play as Ayden-Grifton raced out to a double-digit lead and never trailed in a 63-34 victory on Friday night.

The victory kept the Chargers atop the Carolina 1-A Conference boys' basketball standings and left the Eagles looking for answers.

"We just could not buy a shot in the first half and we dug a very deep hole," Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell said. "When you get behind like that, things start to snowball and all of the sudden the game is out of reach."

The Eagles found themselves down 17-4 after eight minutes. The Chargers controlled the boards on both ends of the floor and stifled the Rosewood offense with an up-tempo two-three zone defense.

Ayden-Grifton's lead swelled to 31-9 by halftime.

Rosewood managed just field goals during that stretch.

"Ideally you'd like to come out, hit a few jump shots and make (Ayden-Grifton) extend its defense," Mitchell said. "We did not do that, and by not rebounding well enough we really got handcuffed."

The second half was better for Rosewood, but the damage had already been done. Reserves for both teams saw playing time in the fourth quarter.

Trayvon Fleary led the Ayden-Grifton attack with 18 points. Gerami Dixon and Rondell Bell each added 11 points for the Chargers, who improved to 12-5 overall and 5-1 in the league.

Zach Thornton paced the Eagles with 12 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. Dee Mabry added six points in the defeat.

"I didn't feel like we came out and matched Ayden-Grifton's intensity from the opening tip," Mitchell said. "We need to do a better job of coming out fast and playing to our strengths right out of the gate."

Rosewood (6-9, 2-4) visits Goldsboro on Tuesday.