01/19/13 — Eagles turn back Gators

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Eagles turn back Gators

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 19, 2013 11:38 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Rosewood has the look of team built to contend for a Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season championship.

Now the Eagles can turn their attention to a pivotal showdown with an annual contender for the league title.

Josh Davis, Dee Mabry and Jyonte Raynor each scored 15 points and Rosewood forced 30 turnovers in a 74-34 win at Spring Creek on Friday evening. The Eagles visit Goldsboro on Tuesday.

Both teams started slowly offensively and Rosewood grabbed an 8-0 lead as the Gators went more than six minutes without scoring. Spring Creek began to find its shooting touch and Chad Spurgeon's 3-pointer pulled the Gators to within 8-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The Eagles (11-2, 2-0 CC) began to attack the rim offensively while unselfishly distributing the basketball. Four different Rosewood players scored during an 11-0 run that gave the Eagles a 19-11 advantage. The Gators were held to five points over the final 51/2 minutes of the second quarter and trailed 27-16 at halftime.

"I thought as the game went on we were able to settle in a little bit and get some better looks at the basket," Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell said. "That is key to have a little bit of inside game and outside game. We can knock down the perimeter shot when we shoot it.

"To be 2-0 in the conference is a big step for us and we've got a big test Tuesday night at Goldsboro, and hopefully we can play as well as we did in the second half."

Brandon Gonzalez's 3-pointer early in the third quarter pulled Spring Creek to within 31-21.

The Eagles responded with a decisive 9-0 run that all stretched the margin to 40-21 and essentially put the Gators away. Spring Creek (4-9, 1-2) was routinely held to one shot on offensive possessions and struggled with Rosewood's full-court press.

Gonzalez and Cianfarra led the Gators with seven points apiece.

"They outplayed us in every phase of the game," Spring Creek head coach Taylor Jones said. "We weren't hitting shots early and then we started forcing shots, and that led to long rebounds or turnovers and you can't do that against a team like Rosewood."

Dennis Mitchell provided the type of physical defensive presence Rosewood's coaching staff has been hoping to see all season. The Eagles' sophomore center finished with a double-double -- 10 points and 12 rebounds.

"It seemed to come together on both ends of the floor a little bit for Dennis," coach Mitchell said. "We did a good job of feeding him the ball and he did a good job of rebounding as well. When we are playing our best basketball we are looking to find each other and it makes the game a lot easier."

The Gators entertain Goldsboro on Jan. 25.