Dec 26, 2012
Dudley's Essence Abraham (22) goes up for the layup as Kelsey Daniel (35) guards her in the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Wednesday night at Cary Academy (photo by Wes Hight).
FINAL: Dudley 60, Rocky Mount 54: The Dudley Panthers overcame a five-point halftime deficit to capture a 60-54 win over Rocky Mount Wednesday evening, advancing in the Mix 101.15 Girls Bracket of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
Early on, it looked like Dudley's size advantage inside would mean little against the half court trapping Gryphons. In the end, it meant everything. Kennedy Currie and 6-foot-5 Akela Maize dominated in the second half, scoring 24 combined points to help key the Dudley comeback. Guard Moriah Davis built off of her impressive first half with 13 points in the final 16 minutes, finishing with 19 total.
Down as much as 14 in the fourth quarter, Rocky Mount tried to roar back in the game's final four minutes behind J'Kyra Brown and Carmen Richardson, who scored 31 and 17 points, respectively. The Gryphons pulled to within two points in the final 30 seconds, but failed to get off a shot in the final two possessions.
Dudley moves on to face the East Wake-Myers Park winner Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. Rocky Mount will face the loser of that game at noon on Thursday.
END 3Q: Dudley 45, Rocky Mount 40: Akela Maize is in the building, and so are the Dudley Panthers. After struggling offensively in the first half, the Panthers started hot in the third quarter, with Maize ripping off 8 straight points to help Dudley turn a five-point deficit into a three-point advantage.
Rocky Mount answered with an 8-2 run to retake the lead, but Dudley's pressure was too much in the final three minutes of the quarter.
The Panthers scored the final 8 points of the frame, with Moriah Davis scoring six in a row to give Dudley a 45-40 lead over Rocky Mount heading into the final quarter.
J'Kyra Brown's impressive afternoon continues, as the senior now has 19 points to lead all scorers.
HALFTIME: Rocky Mount 30, Dudley 25: Led by J'Kyra Brown's 13 points, Rocky Mount has used defensive pressure and a solid inside presene to build a 30-25 lead at halftime of the third game of the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
After a sluggish first quarter, Dudley responded in the second to pull to within two points midway through the frame. Moriah Davis leads the Panthers with 12 points, including seven in the second quarter. Both teams exchanged runs in the final four minutes before halftime, with Rocky Mount ripping off six straight points before Dudley clawed back with four straight before time ran out.
END 1Q: Rocky Mount 15, Dudley 10: The defensive intensity is increasing in Cary Academy's gymnasium. Rocky Mount's pressure caused Dudley all sorts of problems in the first eight minutes and allowed the Gryphons to build a 15-10 lead.
J'Kyra Brown has seven points early for Rocky Mount, including two deep 3-pointers, and Carmen Richardson has six points. Dudley's 6-goot-6 center Akela Maize has been ineffective early on.
Pre-game: In the third game of the day from the gym at Cary Academy, the Rocky Mount Gryphons take on the Dudley Panthers in the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
Dudley's girls are making their first appearance in the Holiday Invitational and are led by 6-foot-5 center Akela Maize, 5-foot-9 point guard Makala Rouse and 6-foot-1 power forward Kennedy Currie. The Panthers finished 19-7 a season ago and are coached by Frank McNeil.
Rocky Mount will be looking for its second Holiday Invitational title in as many years in 2012, as the Gryphons won the girls' four-team bracket a season ago. The Gryphons, coached by Pam Gainey, will be led by senior guard J'Kyra Brown and junior guard Carmen Richardson. Brown scored 23 points per game as a junior and was named team MVP.
The Gryphons finished 25-2 in 2011 and lost in the NCHSAA 3A East Regional championship game.
The winner of Wednesday's meeting will face the winner of East Wake-Myers Park Thursday at 3 p.m., while the loser will be back against the East Wake-Myers Park loser at noon.
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