Ayden-Grifton wins Carolina 1-A Conference boys title
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 18, 2012 11:11 PM
Ayden-Grifton got a clutch shot from Rondell Bell, watched as Princeton's last-second shot bounced off the rim and claimed the Carolina 1-A Conference boys' basketball tournament title with a 43-41 victory on Friday night.
The game did not effect the teams' seeding in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state playoffs, which begin Monday. The Chargers are the No. 1 seed, while the Dawgs are the No. 2 seed.
"Really last night there was more pressure for us because we had to win to assure ourselves a home game in the first round of the state playoffs," Princeton head coach Jeff Davis said. "Obviously tonight we wanted to win the tournament and we had our chance, but it didn't work out."
The Chargers and Dawgs battled back and forth the entire night.
Princeton raced out to an early 8-2 lead over the first two minutes of the game. Ayden-Grifton adjusted its zone offense and pulled within three points late in the quarter before Princeton guard Dalvin Stancil hit one of the best shots of the year to close the period.
Stancil attempted a jump shot from the top of the key, but tripped as the shot reached the rim. The ball careened back to Stancil who was on his knees at the free throw line. With just two seconds remaining, Stancil hit the shot from his knees to put the Dawgs up 15-10.
The Chargers cut the Dawgs' lead to 24-23 by halftime.
The third quarter was a battle as neither team led by more than four points.
Princeton decided to play the percentages in the final eight minutes. The Dawgs pulled ahead 37-35 with six minutes to play and got a stop on the defensive end. Princeton's guards proceeded to run a weave near the halfcourt line and kill two minutes off the clock. The possession ended in an AJ Smith layup and a 39-35 Dawgs lead.
Deshawn Peyton answered for Ayden-Grifton when he was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws. Princeton missed the front end of a one-and-one on its next trip and Bell hit the eventual game-winner from the top of the arc.
Trey Fleary added two free throws to make the score 43-39.
Dalvin Stancil hit a runner to pull Princeton within 43-41 with seven seconds to play and the Dawgs immediately fouled Fleary on the inbounds pass. Fleary missed the front end of his one-and-one and watched as Stancil raced into the front court. Stancil pulled up from the right wing as the last second ticked off and had a shot to tie, but the ball hit wide left.
"I think we made the right call to hold the ball and wait it out," Davis said. "Tonight we did a couple of things we don't normally do and that was miss foul shots and give up a late 3-point shot."
Stancil led Princeton (14-12 overall) with 12 points. Smith added 11 and C.J. Jeffreys netted nine.
Peyton and Geremi Dixon each finished with 15 for Ayden-Grifton.
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