The Roxboro Community School boys’ basketball team heads into the final week of the regular season with the possibility of securing an automatic bid into the state playoffs after surviving a scare from Oxford Prep, 82-78 Wednesday.
It was the Bulldogs’ regular season home finale.
RCS wrapped up a busy three-game in three-day stretch with a 108-71 loss at North Central Athletic Conference leader Henderson Collegiate Wednesday and a 54-50 defeat at Raleigh Homeschool in non-conference action Thursday. The losses snapped the Bulldogs’ recent six-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs head into the final week of the season at 11-12 overall and 8-4 in the NCAC. They are currently in a tie for third with Falls Lake Academy and are just a game behind Voyager Academy for second. RCS will play both Falls Lake Academy and Voyager Academy on the road next week and could potentially finish second in the regular season standings and earn one of the conference’s two automatic bids into the 1A state playoffs.
RCS needed a strong finish to hold off five-win Oxford Prep on Senior Night.
The Bulldogs took a seemingly-comfortable 64-57 advantage into the fourth quarter but a hot opening few minutes of the final frame helped rally the Griffins.
Oxford Prep used a 13-6 start to the fourth to tie the game and took a 73-70 lead when Ben Hester connected with Quincey Burrell for an alley-oop. Burrell was fouled on the play and made the ensuing free throw to give the Griffins the lead with 3:05 to play.
The teams traded the lead back and forth until the smallest man on the floor made one of the biggest plays of the game.
RCS point guard Nasir Stokes sliced through the lane and made an acrobatic layup while absorbing contact. Stokes’ and-one with 56.8 seconds in regulation lifted the Bulldogs to a 78-76 lead.
The junior guard hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds to secure the win.
Dylan Jones paced the Bulldogs with 26 points in his regular season home finale. Stokes poured in 16 points, while Jalen Bailey added 15, with nine coming in the first half.
J.R. Paylor finished with 10, while Bryson Pleasant scored six and had a couple of clutch plays in the final seconds. Pleasant scored on a putback with 35 seconds to play to push the RCS lead to 80-76 and had a big block on the next trip down the floor.
Karson McKenzie scored five points and Colby Rountree and Jaylen Pointer each finished with two.
Senior J.J. Cash earned the start in his final regular season home game.
Burrell carried the Griffins’ offense with 35 points.
RCS will travel to Voyager Academy Tuesday night before wrapping up its regular season Wednesday at Falls Lake Academy.