Washington defeats J.H. Rose in thriller

Published 7:10 am Tuesday, February 19, 2008

By By Aaron Carpenter, Staff Correspondent
GREENVILLE — The Washington Pam Pack beat J.H. Rose 53-52 Monday night for the first time in three tries, and this was the one that mattered most.
Despite Rose’s Donte McCarter scoring 21 points in the first half and looking unstoppable, the Pam Pack tightened up its defense and only allowed McCarter six points in the second in the first round of the Coastal Conference Tournament.
Washington will play at No. 1 seed D.H. Conley (20-3), a 68-43 winner over West Carteret, in Wednesday’s second-round game.
Things didn’t look good for the No. 5 seed Pack (12-8) in the first quarter. On the strength of McCarter’s shooting, from outside and in, No. 4 seed Rose (11-14) took a quick 11-4 lead in just the first three minutes.
Daquan Daniels of Washington sank the first of his three 3-pointers to cut the lead to four, but the Rampants used their height inside to extend their lead. With just under a minute remaining, Marcus McLawhorn drove the lane and put Rose up 22-11 over the Pack.
Things didn’t go much better for the Pam Pack in the second quarter, although it played the Rampants more closely than they had in the first. So closely, in fact, that neither team could find the basket for more than two minutes into the quarter until McCarter sank another three to give Rose a 12-point lead.
Dakuan Spencer, who led Washington with 16 points, had a good quarter defensively and helped shut down McCarter, who didn’t score in the last four minutes of the half.
Other players for Rose chipped in, however, and Washington was only able to trim the lead by three, trailing 35-29 headed into the locker room.
Rose came out in the third quarter and was able to get the lead back to nine, but the Pam Pack’s Mallison drained a three to start a 10-1 run over 90 seconds to tie the game at 39 midway through the third. Cor-J Cox tipped in a miss and Washington had its first lead of the game, 41-39.
Four quick points from McCarter gave the lead back to the Rampants, but Spencer drilled a 3-pointer and Daniels hit a break-away layup for the Pack to take a 46-43 lead into the fourth quarter.
Defense and fouls kept both teams from establishing any rhythm in the fourth quarter, and once again, neither team scored in the first two minutes of the period. Darius Graham of Rose sank a long jumper from the wing to break the scoring drought.
McLawhorn put back a missed jumper to retake the lead for the Rampants, but good free throw shooting from Spencer kept the Pack in the game.
Over the last four minutes of the quarter, the Pam Pack was able to score inside on Rose, just like the team had talked about at halftime.
Good shooting from the charity stripe for the Rampants tied the game back up at 51 with just 1:22 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, after Washington cut some time off the clock, Spencer drove the lane hard and his layup found the bottom of the net with 29 seconds left to go.
The Rampants called timeout and discussed what they wanted to do next.
The two squads came out of the timeout and Rose inbounded the ball to McCarter, who was guarded closely. He dished the ball to Matt Steele, who got his man to bite on a fake and drove the lane to sink the tying basket. But he was fouled on the play and his shot fell short with only 10 seconds left on the clock.
Now it was Steele at the free throw line to tie the game and send it into overtime. He made his first shot and Lawrence called timeout to ice the lanky center.
Lawrence’s ploy worked and the second shot went waning. Cox came down with the rebound and was fouled with seven seconds to go.
Cox missed the front end of the one-and-one, but the Pack was able to corral the rebound and seemed certain to win. However, due perhaps to a mental breakdown, Washington attempted a 3-pointer that clanged off the rim. Rose recovered and called timeout with 1.9 seconds left.
McCarter again got the inbound pass, but his shot from 10 feet beyond the arc was short and the Washington players celebrated with their coaches as the buzzer sounded and they survived the scare to play Conley on Wednesday night.
Washington 13 16 17 7 – 53
J.H. Rose 22 13 8 9 – 52
Dakuan Spencer 16, Daquan Daniels 15, Mallison 7, Cox 6, Griffin 5, Tripp 4
J.H. ROSE (52)
Donte McCarter 27, McLawhorn 8, Steele 6, Graham 4, Edwards 2, Monney 2, Randolph 2, Hamby 1