Rosewood outscored North Duplin 29-20 in the second half and drained some clutch free throws over the final minute in a 56-51 grind-it-out victory on Friday evening.
The triumph moved the Eagles to 5-4 overall this season and 4-0 in league play.
“It was a hard-fought, intense game by teams,” said Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell. “Both teams left everything they had on the floor.”
North Duplin was hot in the first half, the Rebels took an early 12-4 lead before the Eagles clawed their way back into the game. Late in the second quarter, North Duplin was up 31-21 and had a 31-27 lead at the break.
However, things changed in a hard-fought third stanza as the ball started to bounce Rosewood’s way.
“We were down double digits against Union, so we’ve been there before,” said Mitchell. “We know if we can battle and get stops that we can get some scores, and that’s what we did.
Rosewood outscored North Duplin 9-7 in the third quarter, the Eagles did a great job of crashing the boards and getting second-chance opportunities.
“Rebounding kept us in the game, especially early on,” said Mitchell.
By the end of the third quarter, the Eagles cut the advantage to just two with eight minutes to play.
“Both teams played hard,” said North Duplin coach Ricky Edwards. “I thought we played extremely well, it was a well-played ball game. Rosewood really hit the boards extremely well, but even at that, we were still in good shape. It’s just the way it went tonight.”
With 2:45 remaining in the contest, Rosewood took command of the game for good, when Will Harris scored to put Rosewood up 46-44. North Duplin made the score 50-48 with only 50 seconds left, but the Rebels were forced to foul. Rosewood knocked down some free throws and held on to win 56-51.
“We trailed most the game,” said Mitchell “We kept fighting, and we were able to get the lead and hold it.”
Logan Mitchell closed the fourth period with four points, including four for six from the free throw line over the final 20 seconds. Mitchell finished the night with nine points.
Mitchell’s effort was complemented by forward Michael Reid, who scored 12 points. Roderick Benjamin contributed a team-high 19 points, while Tanner Capps filed six points. Will Harris added four points. Davien Thompson scored three points.
North Duplin (3-6) was led by Armone Anders, who notched a game-high 24 points. D.J. Simmons scored 12 points, Christian Powell and Kyle Figueroa combined for 15 points.