By Jay Mumford
TEACHEY -- In order for his Princeton boys basketball team to upset Tri-County Conference champion Wallace-Rose Hill in the opening round of the NCHSAA 1 A sectional basketball tournament, one thing had to happen.
The host Bulldogs would have to have a mediocre shooting night.
They didn't. Instead Wallace-Rose Hill displayed a weapon that it was not known for this season - the long-range bomb.
The host Bulldogs rained down 11 3-pointers on their visitors, including a trio of bombs by Marquell Newkirk and Marcus Scarboro in snuffing a first half Princeton rally and pulling away to an 80-57 victory.
Newkirk, who led all scorers with 26 points, hit two of his 3-pointers in the first period, then and added his third as Wallace -Rose Hill pulled away in the final period.
Scarboro banged in two of his three in a three-trey spurt by Wallace Rose-Hill, extending a three-point margin to a 12-point bulge midway through the second period. Daquayle Robinson added the third 3-pointer in the run.
Those three individuals were part of five double-figure scorers for Wallace-Rose Hill, which improved to 20-7 and will meet Pamlico in a second round contest Wednesday night
Newkirk led all scorers with 26 point, while Scarboro and Justill Obasohan bucketed 12 points each. Robinson and Delil Carr added 11 points each.
The 3-point efforts were needed to offset a 3-point first-half barrage by Princeton, which kept itself in the contest on a quartet of treys from Michael Wooten and another from Jamal Morgan that ended the half.
Wooten led Princeton with 21 points, with Colby Norris complementing that effort with 14 points.
Princeton also used the free-throw line to stay within striking distance, hitting 16-of-20 attempts, including 7-of-9 by Wooten.
But despite being in the bonus over the final ten minutes and the double bonus most of the fourth quarter, Princeton could not come closer than 13 points at 66-53, after Wallace -Rose hill built a 20-point bulge.couldn't cut into the margin.
Wooten kept Wallace-Rose Hill from blowing the game open in the first five minutes of the opening quarter, which saw Obasohan put on a clinic with ten points, scoring from the paint, perimeter and baseline.
"That (the 3-point shooting) is not really their strength," Davis said. "And we really didn't want to come out of our zone and play them man-to-man - but they shot the lights out."
Perimeter shooting wasn't the only downfall for Princeton, as Wallace Rose-Hill dominated the glass, getting a second, third and sometimes a fourth opportunity.
"We knew they were fast, and they could rebound the basketball," Davis said. "But we were able to handle their pressure most of the night - there were a couple of minutes at the start of the game, and then in the late stages when they were pulling away - but our kids did a great job tonight."
Despite the offensive attributes Wallace-Rose Hill displayed, Princeton remained within fighting distance until the middle stages of the third period, when a 14-7 run gave the host Bulldogs breathing distance that they were able to hold onto.
With its lead sliced to 43-36 on a three-point play by Wooten, Wallace-Rose Hill used a pair of 3-pointers by Robinson and another from Carr for a 57-43 lead entering the final period.