Trailing 14-6 at the end of the first quarter, Rosewood mounted a comeback and held on for a 40-39 win against Princeton.
It marks the first time the Eagles have defeated their archrival since 2018 and gives them their first win this season.
“We’ve had a tough stretch of games, and we just kept working, kept battling, and tried to stay positive,” Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell said. “I thought we played really well on the defensive end to give us a chance to win the game.”
Similar to their first matchup against Rosewood, the Bulldogs got off to a hot start. They opened the game with a 10-4 run and had a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, thanks to the Eagles’ defensive effort, the Bulldogs started to cool off in the second quarter.
The Eagles limited the Bulldogs to just three points in the second quarter, and Otis Coley knocked down a three-pointer to make it 17-17 at halftime.
“We started slow, and it took some time to adjust,” Mitchell said. “We held Princeton to three points in the second quarter, and we were able to get some baskets.
“It really started on the defensive end.”
At the start of the third quarter, Khamari Jones scored five straight that pushed Princeton ahead 22-17.
The Eagles continued to hang around, and a layup from Quay Butler tied the game at 27-27, but a basket from Layton Pearce pushed the Bulldogs back in front 29-27.
Jalen Solomon’s free throw made it a one-point ball game at the end of the third quarter.
Butler opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game and sparked a 9-6 run that gave Rosewood a 40-35 lead with one minute left.
A three-pointer from Taylor helped Princeton pull within 40-38 with 36 seconds left.
After a few turnovers from both teams, Princeton got the ball back with 20 seconds left. Taylor was fouled and drained a free throw to make it 40-39.
Princeton got the ball back with 4.9 seconds left. Still, the Eagles played great defense. The Bulldogs could not get a shot off as the Rosewood student section stormed the court to celebrate the Eagles’ victory.
“At the end, we did a really good job on defense and not letting Princeton get a shot,” Mitchell said. “We had a good switch on a screen or two, and we were able to keep 15 (Aden Taylor) from getting the ball right away, and as soon as he did, we were able to get a hand on it and get the loose ball.
“I’m very excited by the effort we showed.”
Butler led Rosewood with 12 points, and Coley contributed eight points. Taylor paced Princeton with a game-high 13 points, while Peyton Mitchell and Jones scored eight points apiece.