Prep Hoops: Rothrock's game-winner stuns East
For three and a half quarters, the Ledford Panthers bided their time Friday in a rivalry game at East Davidson.
Sophomore guard Brandon Rothrock drained two clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including the eventual game-winner with 15 seconds to play to lift Ledford to a 54-51 win over the Golden Eagles.
"I've been wanting him to step up and make big shots," Ledford coach Jonathan Leonard said of his leading scorer, who finished with 13 points. "It couldn't have happened to a better person."
Rothrock's heroics helped define the game's final sequence, but easily forgotten is the fact East maintained a lead throughout the second half. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they failed to score down the stretch and surrendered a 10-0 Panthers run to close the game.
"We went scoreless for three minutes and 34 seconds," East coach Matt Jacobs said. "It was 51-46 with 3:34, coming out of a timeout, and we never scored again."
Dillon Pierce scored 12 points for the Panthers, while Josh Craven led the Eagles with 16. Forward Taylor Booze dominated the paint in the first quarter and went into halftime with 13 points.
Facing double- and triple-teams, Booze failed to tally a point in the final two quarters.
"They did a good job on him," Jacobs said. "I thought defensively we were pretty good. We gave them very few uncontested looks on 3s, but we gave them one too many."
Ledford overcame 20 turnovers to notch the victory. Leonard praised his team for sticking together to overcome cold shooting — Rothrock was shut out in the first half — and a bevy of crucial mistakes by his young backcourt.
"I'm so proud of these guys," Leonard said. "I've never had a team like this. There is not one selfish player on this team. They care about each other and play well together."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.