Dudley outlasts Riverside in defensive battle, 27-26
Posted December 27, 2013
Updated December 28, 2013
Cary, N.C. — A day after scoring better than 50 points in a loss to Broughton, Greensboro Dudley mustered only 27 Friday in a one-point win over Durham Riverside in consolation play of the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket in the 2013 HighSchoolOTcom Holiday Invitational.
Dudley raced out to 14-7 lead after the first quarter, but the Panthers offense struggled in the final three frames, scoring just 13 more points against a Pirates squad that also struggled to make shots.
The 53 combined points set a new HSOT Invite tournament record for lowest game total, breaking a mark set in 2010 by Raleigh Millbrook and Southeast Raleigh. No players on either team finished in double figures Friday.
With the win, the Panthers advance to the Mix 101.5 Bracket fifth place game against Cary. Dudley and the Lady Imps will play Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Cary Academy.
Dudley head coach Frank McNeil smiled after his team's win when talking about his offense, saying he questioned himself several times in the second half as his team struggled to find any rhythm.
"We put in some new stuff on the fly this morning," he said. "I guess they were focused more on what they were doing, and it's why our point production was down. They were thinking too much. When my seniors tell me they're fine, I've decided to trust them."
Trailing 16-7 at the halftime break, Riverside began to claw back into the game early in the fourth quarter. A 14-0 run put the Pirates up two in the final two minutes, but three free throws in the final minute sealed the win for Dudley. Kennedy Currie, who hit two of the final three clutch free throws, led Dudley with 7 points and 12 rebounds.
"Keeping things slowed down was the best strategy," McNeill said. "When I saw that we were getting close to the bonus, I thought it would be best to try and make some free throws. I'm glad it worked out and we won."
Riverside head coach Alicia Jones said she was pleased with her team's effort despite the loss.
"We played a lot better this morning than we did Thursday. We're still trying to find our legs," Jones said. "These girls fought hard and they knew they had to turn it on. I told them they had to play with heart (in the fourth quarter), and I think that's what they did."
Senior Mone Jones led the Pirates with 7 points and 5 rebounds, and Kiara Jacobs added 5 points.
Riverside will play PAC-6 rival Hillside on Friday to determine seventh place in the Mix 101.5 Bracket. The teams tips at Cary Academy at 10 a.m.
Senior guard Kiara Jacobs said Riverside will be ready for its rival despite playing early in the morning.
"It's important. We're going to have to fight, as usual. It will depend on who wants it more," she said.