Lady Cougars move to ECC championship
By David Williams
Published in Sports on February 20, 2004 1:58 PM
The true danger in trying to beat the Goldsboro High School girls' basketball team is in their varied range of weapons. Stop one player, and another will hurt you.
Goldsboro showed another scoring weapon in Shamika Hardy during Thursday's Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference semifinal game against Eastern Wayne. Hardy, a junior, hit for 18 points and demonstrated she could score from inside and outside as the Lady Cougars beat the Lady Warriors 52-36.
Rosewood's Jessica Hill (1) guards North JohnstonÕs Caroline Hines as they come up the floor in Thursday's Carolina 1-A Conference tournament semifinal. North Johnston beat the Eagles 50-35 and took along with the win the No. 2 seed for the 1-A playoffs next week.
The victory puts Kinston at the Cougar Den tonight for the ECC tournament championship. Goldsboro (25-1) blew Kinston out for the tourney championship last season, and shoots for its first back-to-back tournament titles in coach Gladys McClary's tenure at the school.
"She came in and made a difference," said McClary. "She did a real good job -- scoring and defensively."
The Lady Warriors (11-12), who open the state 3-A playoffs on the road at Wilson Fike Monday, battled their host hard for most of the game, Goldsboro jumped out to a 12-point lead as Hardy hit a three and Clintoria Bryant had seven first-period points.
But Eastern Wayne kept the game right there, cutting three gap down to seven points on one occasion. Sierra King had her second straight big scoring game, leading all scorers with 21 points. But Goldsboro -- and Hardy -- never let Eastern Wayne all the way back in, as hardy got under the boards for stick-back baskets and showed good range with her jumper.
Ashelyn James battled Eastern Wayne's Jessy Perkins for most of the game, but the Lady Warrior center sat with foul trouble early in the second half.
Goldsboro made a late run with four minutes left to put the game out of reach.
"Our girls played hard," said Eastern Wayne coach Brent Holland. "Foul trouble hurt us, but they hurt us with good guard play and dribble penetration. They have two good guards, and James is strong in the middle."
The Lady Cougars had to overcome the loss of starting guard Chevoya Jackson to fouls early in the fourth period.
"Eastern Wayne had a good plan, putting pressure on our guards," said McClary. "The girls really stepped up -- the post players had to score. They did a good job looking for each other and looking to pass."
Along with hardy, Bryant had 14 points and James had 12. King was the only Lady Warrior in double figures.
Now the Cougars ready for a Lady Viking squad that has become a tough conference rival -- and one that almost upset Goldsboro the last time they were in Goldsboro.
"Whoever we play, they will have played the night before," said McClary. "Whoever it is, we will be ready."
Eastern Wayne 6 12 9 9 -- 36
Goldsboro 16 10 13 13 -- 52
EASTERN WAYNE (11-12)
Sierra King 3 3 4-6 19, Jessy Perkins 4 0 0-1 8, Nikki Greene 2 0 0-2 4, Yasmine Washington 1 0 0-0 2, Marandis Lewis 1 0 0-0 2, Jazzmine Lee 0 0 1-2 1, Natasha Wiley 0 0 0-2 0. TOTALS -- 11 3 5-13 36.
Shamika Hardy 5 1 5-8 18, Clintoria Bryant 2 3 1-2 14, Ashelyn James 4 0 4-6 12, Jessica Faison 3 0 0-0 6, Chevoya Jackson 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 15 4 10-16 52.
Three-point baskets -- Eastern Wayne 3 (King 3), Goldsboro 4 (Bryant 3, Hardy). Turnovers -- Eastern Wayne 26, Goldsboro 15. Total fouls -- Eastern Wayne 11, Goldsboro 10. Fouled out -- Jackson. Technicals -- none.
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