Saints advance, end Cougars' run
By David Williams
Published in Sports on February 20, 2004 1:59 PM
DUDLEY -- One dream died Thursday night, while another dream continued. That's how tournament basketball goes -- and Southern Wayne's boys are the ones that are still going.
The Saints moved into position to defend the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament title they won last year by knocking out the Cinderella-like Goldsboro Cougars 63-60 in overtime before a thin but raucous crowd at the Southern Wayne gym.
Southern Wayne's Ted Benton (22) drives for a shot as Goldsboro's Ray Brinson, left, and Adam Wright (30) try to block it. Watching the play is Southern Wayne's Artimus Quick, at left.
That win, coupled with Eastern Wayne's defeat at the hands of third-seeded West Carteret, puts the Saints in Morehead City Saturday night for a championship game with the Patriots. The victor will take the ECC's no. 2 seed in next week's state 3-A playoffs.
Goldsboro, which needed to win the conference tournament to get into the playoffs, came in to the game on a roll after beating No. 1 seed Kinston on the road Wednesday. But Southern Wayne showed great focus, taking Goldsboro's early lead and taking it down by slowing the tempo and counting on a great second half by senior Ted Benton, who scored 21 points in the victory.
"I'm very proud of how they held their poise and did what they wanted to do," said Southern Wayne coach Michael Olliver. "Goldsboro came in here desperate, ready to whatever they had to."
The Cougars came out on a tear, using a 16-2 first-period run to erase a quick 4-0 Saint lead and take command at the half 25-16.
"They had us back on our heels," said Olliver. "We had to assert ourselves."
The Saints found a way by putting Benton in the high post, taking on the Cougar big men with surprising success in the second half. Benton had 10 of his 21 points in the third period as the Saints closed the gap and forged a brief lead as the game wound down.
"The tempo changed at half," said Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan. "Coach Olliver made some good adjustments -- credit the coaching staff."
Tied at 49-49, Southern Wayne used its slow-down offense to take time off the clock. But the break to the basket resulted in a miss and Goldsboro had it's chance.
But the Cougars suffered the same fate as a short jumper bounced off and the game went to overtime.
The game changed direction when a Goldsboro player fouled out and was called for a technical as he left the floor with 2:46 left in the extra frame. Southern Wayne hit on all four free throws and took possession, draining the clock down to under 90 seconds.
"That changed the whole game," Olliver said. "I hate to see something like that decide a game that was that good."
Goldsboro started to foul, but the Saints did their job as Derrion Garris hit 9-of-10 from the line to hold off the game Cougar squad.
"Give credit to Southern Wayne," said Jordan. "They didn't quit, they played hard. They found a way to win the game."
Along with Benton, three Saints hit for double figures -- Artimus Quick with 16, Garris with 11 and Akeem Royal with 10. Goldsboro's Wright had 15 to lead the Cougars, with 13 from Tavon Waters, 12 from Ray Brinson and 10 from Daquan Joyner as the Cougars ended their season.
"They are young, but feeling good about themselves," said Olliver of his Saint team. "They want to have a reputation, but they know they have to prove it every night."
Goldsboro 13 12 18 6 11 -- 60
Southern Wayne 6 10 23 10 14 -- 63
Adam Wright 5 1 2-3 15, Tavon Waters 2 2 3-7 13, Ray Brinson 5 0 2-3 12, Daquan Joyner 4 0 2-2 10, Deonta Anderson 2 0 0-0 4, Chris Jones 2 0 0-0 4, Josh Broadie 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 21 3 9-15 60.
SOUTHERN WAYNE (13-11)
Ted Benton 8 0 5-6 21, Artimus Quick 7 0 2-4 16, Derrion Garris 1 0 9-10 11, Akeem Royal 2 2 0-0 10, Austin Hood 1 0 1-4 3, Justin Monroe 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 20 2 17-24 63.
Three-point baskets -- Goldsboro 3 (Waters 2, Wright), Southern Wayne 2 (Royal 2). Turnovers -- Goldsboro 16, Southern Wayne 10. Total fouls -- Goldsboro 17, Southern Wayne 10. Fouled out -- Brinson, Garris. Technical -- Brinson.
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