01/12/13 — Rosewood boys rally past Ayden-Grifton

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Rosewood boys rally past Ayden-Grifton

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 12, 2013 11:55 PM

Rosewood withstood blow after blow from Ayden-Grifton for three quarters on Friday night.

The Eagles delivered the final blow.

Jyonte Raynor scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter and Rosewood rallied from down 10 points for a 44-41 win over defending Carolina 1-A Conference champion Ayden-Grifton at the "Eagles Nest."

The Chargers consistently beat the Eagles to loose balls and dominated the glass throughout the first half. Ayden-Grifton's Khalif Harper scored 10 of his team-high 14 points during the first two quarters.

Rosewood (10-2 overall, 1-0 CC) used the hot shooting of Zach Barnes to stay within striking distance. Barnes knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half and the two teams were tied 19-19 at halftime.

The Chargers (6-7, 1-1) effectively used their screen-and-roll offense in the third quarter and got quality production from big man Jake Wright, who contributed all 11 of his points in the second half. The Eagles struggled to knock down open looks and were routinely limited to one shot per possession.

Ayden-Grifton used a 9-2 run late in the third quarter to extend its lead to 34-24.

Rosewood closed to within 34-28 at the end of the third quarter and Raynor's 3-pointer with fewer than four minutes to play trimmed the deficit to 38-37. The Chargers' Geremi Dixon sank one of two free throws and Raynor's 3-pointer with fewer than three minutes left put the Eagles ahead for good at 40-39.

"Our coach just told us not to give up and to keep fighting and that's what we had to do," Raynor said. "My team did a good job of finding me when I was wide open. I've got to give credit to them really."

Rosewood clamped down defensively in the fourth quarter and held Ayden-Grifton to seven points. Raynor's layup off a turnover increased the Eagles' lead to 42-39. Josh Davis added a layup off a steal.

Brandon Larry and Dixon both missed point-blank layups in the final 35 seconds.

After the Eagles' Victor Jenkins missed the front end of a one-and-one at the free throw line with five seconds to play, the Chargers squandered a chance at a game-tying 3-pointer with a turnover.

"Defensively I thought we dug in and we were able to get some key stops that were big in the fourth quarter," Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell said. "We really got out hustled for a lot of the game. Their big guy inside (Wright) had a lot of offensive rebounds and putbacks, and he hurt us a little bit. I felt like in the fourth quarter we did a better job of keeping them in front of us off the dribble.

"This win was big for us and hopefully it will give some confidence going forward."

The Eagles visit Spring Creek on Jan. 18.