01/30/13 — Rosewood boys stay in Carolina 1-A title chase

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Rosewood boys stay in Carolina 1-A title chase

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 30, 2013 1:47 PM

PRINCETON -- Rosewood continues to keep pace in the Carolina 1-A Conference, while Princeton has a hole to climb out of that is growing larger with every loss.

After turning in a less-than-pleasing performance against North Duplin on Monday night, the Eagles responded by placing four scorers in double figures in a 67-48 victory over the Bulldogs on Tuesday night.

Jyonte Raynor led Rosewood with 19 points. Dee Mabry contributed 15 points and Josh Davis added 14 points. Sophomore center Dennis Mitchell had 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

"Our kids responded well," Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell said. "I thought we played pretty well on both ends of the floor tonight. Princeton still made some shots I thought we dug in defensively and made things difficult for them and I thought we played really well offensively."

Alex Whitley scored 12 points for Princeton and Michael Wooten finished with 11.

The Eagles (13-3 overall, 4-1 CC) used solid ball movement throughout the first half while working hard without the ball to get open. Rosewood managed to score off dribble penetration, perimeter jump shots and points in the paint. The Eagles closed the first half on a 10-3 run and Raynor's jump shot at the buzzer gave the Eagles a 37-28 lead.

"We were scoring inside and outside," Mitchell said. "We hit some shots from behind the arc and we dumped it in a couple of times. We got some offensive rebounds and we were able to drive to the basket. Overall, I thought it was a good team effort."

Mabry drained three 3-pointers in the third quarter and Davis also knocked down a shot from beyond the arc as the margin grew to 51-37. The Bulldogs struggled to get comfortable in their half-court offense against Rosewood's tenacious ball pressure. Princeton was forced to settle for contested jump shots while finding dribbling past defenders to be difficult.

"Tonight we tried everything defensively," Bulldogs' head coach Jeff Davis said. "They're athletic and when you couple that with their shooting it makes it tough. As bad as it looks we were actually in the ballgame until the end."

Princeton closed to within 57-45 on Whitley's jump shot with 4 1/2 minutes to play. The Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 11-3 during the final four minutes to seal the win.

The victory left Rosewood in the thick of the conference race and just a game behind league-leader Goldsboro with a trip to Ayden-Grifton looming on Friday. The Eagles erased a 10-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Chargers 44-41 on Jan. 11.

The loss leaves the Bulldogs (7-8) at 1-3 in conference play. Princeton travels to Ayden-Grifton tonight and plays host to Spring Creek on Friday.

"Ayden-Grifton is a winnable game, but is one we can certainly lose," Davis said. "We've got to win Friday night if we want to make the playoffs. We need to win two out of three games this week to be safe. It is going to be tough and Friday is a must-win game."