No letdown for GHS Girls
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 17, 2004 2:00 PM
Focused and intense.
Defending Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference girls tournament champion Goldsboro showed those two characteristics in a 67-34 triumph against county rival Southern Wayne on Monday evening. The Cougars, ranked No. 4 in the latest ihigh.com/coaches and media poll, knocked off a county opponent for the 16th straight time, a streak that includes regular-season and tournament play beginning last season.
"It's hard to beat any team three times, but we just planned to go out there and play hard," Goldsboro senior guard Clintoria Bryant said. "We wanted to get past Southern Wayne so we can play again Wednesday, and hopefully make it to the next level.
"We're not taking anybody for granted. We've got to play hard like it's the championship game."
Goldsboro (24-1) scored eight of the game's first nine points, prompting Saints coach Richard Proctor to burn a timeout. The short stoppage in play couldn't slow down the Cougars, who came right out and collected an old-fashioned three-point play off a turnover.
Sophomore guard Chevoya Jackson hit Bryant with a nice assist in the passing lane for the easy layup. Bryant converted the free throw to make it 11-1. Including Bryant's basket, Goldsboro closed out the quarter with 15-2 run.
Southern Wayne committed 11 turnovers in the quarter and hit just one bucket.
"I thought we'd play better basketball," Proctor said. "We met a great basketball team that played super tonight. As I've said all along, Goldsboro has all the pieces of the puzzle and they proved it again tonight. I was very disappointed with the way our girls came out and played.
"I thought we would come in and give them a little bit better game."
The Cougars boosted their advantage to 45-14 by halftime. Bryant and Jackson combined for 22 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. Six Goldsboro players scratched in the scoring column and all six reserves played at least two minutes.
Proctor admitted his team had dug too big of a hole, but added they played a better second half. The Saints scrambled after loose balls and tried to play physical on the boards. However, they couldn't generate any consistent offense in their halfcourt game.
Goldsboro claimed its 15th straight victory after a two-point loss to Fuquay-Varina on Dec. 27, 2003.
“They did everything we asked them to do,” Cougars coach Gladys McClary said.
“We wanted them to take it to another level and they did. They played very aggressive, played well together and kept the floor balanced on offense and defense.
“They did well when we switched defenses.”
Bryant emerged the game’s top scorer with 23 points. She dished out six assists, grabbed four rebounds and blocked one shot. Backcourt mate Jackson nearly recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. The Cougars collected 18 assists on 24 field goals.
“Our guards played off the hook,” McClary said. “They understood the difference in fast breaking and when they didn’t have it to pull the ball back out. Tonight they stepped up and complimented each other with passes, and were very unselfish.
“They will give up the ball and really make those post players work.”
Junior forward Shemika Hardy contributed 11 points and seven rebounds. Junior center Ashelyn James chipped in five points, six rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.
The Cougars dominated the boards 53-28 and forced 28 turnovers. Goldsboro awaits the winner of tonight’s Eastern Wayne-West Craven contest. Weather permitting, those teams tip off at 6 p.m. at New Hope.
Saint seniors Akesha Jordan, Laccarro Mathis (four points), Tiffany Swinson (team-high eight points) and Jessica Teachey played their final games in a red-and-white uniform. Southern Wayne finished 5-18, dropping eight of its final 10 contests.
2004 Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference Tournament (at Goldsboro HS)
So. Wayne 3 11 5 15 — 34
Goldsboro 22 23 6 16 — 67
SOUTHERN WAYNE (5-18)
Dionne Dotson 1 1 0-2 5 Tomesha Flow 0 0 0-0 0 Damiri Blount 0 0 0-0 0 Christina Lopez 1 1 0-0 5 Tiffany Swinson 1 2 0-0 8 Jessica Teachey 0 0 0-0 0 Talisa Robinson 1 0 2-5 4 Shelonda Smith 0 0 0-0 0 Ebony Darden 3 0 0-4 6 Danielle Wilkins 1 0 0-0 2 Lacarro Mathis 2 0 0-0 4.
TOTALS — 10 4 2-11 34.
GOLDSBORO (24-1) Chevoya Jackson 6 0 4-4 16 Helga Bryant 0 0 1-2 1 Shemika Hardy 4 1 0-0 11 April Reid 0 0 2-2 2 Clintoria Bryany 6 3 2-2 23 Mikeda Graham 1 0 0-0 2 Jessica Faison 1 0 5-6 7 Dominique Cherry 0 0 0-0 0 Ashelyn James 2 0 1-2 5 Camille Early 0 0 0-0 0.
TOTALS — 20 4 15-21 67.
Three-point baskets — Goldsboro 4 (C. Bryant 3, Hardy); So. Wayne 4 (Swinson 2, Lopez, Dotson). Turnovers — Goldsboro 20, So. Wayne 28. Total fouls — Goldsboro 14, So. Wayne 19. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.
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