It was an up-and-down game for Rosewood, but a big night by Braylee Butts helped the Eagles prevail.
Butts celebrated Senior Night by scoring 23 points, and the Eagles held off archrival Princeton 68-56 on Wednesday night.
If the Eagles win their final two regular season games, they will clinch the Carolina 1-A Conference title.
Butts was the girl who kept Rosewood on track.
“I knew they were going to be nervous, it’s Senior Night, and we were playing Princeton, but we persevered,” Rosewood head coach Greg Hawkins said. “I really can’t take the credit. I have an excellent group of girls. They play extremely hard. They play for one another. Our team motto is family, and it represents the way we play on and off the court.
“Our team played hard for our seniors, we haven’t beat Princeton, so this is something that they can give them as a gift.”
The Bulldogs were up 14-10 at the end of the first quarter, but the Eagles turned up the heat in the second quarter and carried a 34-20 lead into halftime.
Princeton came out strong to start the second half, outscoring Rosewood 16-13 in the third quarter, but going into the fourth quarter Rosewood was up 47-36.
In the fourth quarter, with just over two minutes remaining in the game, a three-point shot from Meredith Wooten made the score 55-51.
“I thought she took over the game and tried to carry the team on her back,” said Princeton head coach Paula Wooten. “I’m so proud of our team because they never gave up. We could’ve easily given up, but we didn’t, so I’m proud of them.”
Then Butts took over.
Two consecutive baskets, a layup and a three-pointer put the Eagles up 60-51. Rylee Joe Myers added a layup and three-pointer that capped a 10-1 Rosewood run.
Myers added 11 points in the win for the Eagles. Laine Marak and Ar’Zhane Dozier each finished with nine points respectively.
“I have an excellent assistant,” Hawkins said. “She told me to switch defenses, and it worked, so if I don’t have her to help me make those adjustments, it might have been a different outcome.”
Princeton was paced by Meredith Wooten, who finished the game with 22 points. Hailey Woodall scored nine points, and Takiria Cummings contributed eight points.
Rosewood gets five days off before traveling to Neuse Charter next Tuesday, while Princeton visits North Duplin on Friday.