02/22/04 — "We're ready" - GHS girls take ECC tournament championship

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"We're ready" - GHS girls take ECC tournament championship

By David Williams
Published in Sports on February 22, 2004 2:01 AM

It wasn't just a win. It was a statement, made by Goldsboro High School's girls basketball team Friday night as the lady Cougars took on Kinston for the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament championship.

The message -- "we're ready."

The 64-39 whalloping of the Lady Vikings gave Goldsboro (26-1) an ECC title sweep after winning the regular-season championship with an umblemished league record. And the message -- "we're ready" for the playoffs -- was heard and understood by teams from the Triangle to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Coach Gladys McClary's Lady Cougars are breathing rare air, indeed.

The team has not been beaten by a 3-A team this season, falling only to 4-A Fuquay-Varina in the Cougar Classic basketball tournament on Dec. 27. Two more wins will capture the school's record for wins in a season -- now at 27, done 24 years ago by Gerald Whitley's state champion Cougarettes of 1980. Only four other 3-A girls teams in the state have records equal to or better than Goldsboro.

Two more wins will also put Goldsboro back in the 3-A eastern regional tournament, equaling the furthest advance of last season's team in post-season play.

Against the Lady Vikings, Goldsboro was ready -- with everything.

In the best first half performance of the season, Goldsboro outscored their conference nemesis 41-18, had a team-record low four turnovers while forcing 13 out of a sharp-handling Kinston team.

Chevoya Jackson and Clintoria Bryant took the scoring load when the Lady Vikings collapsed their defense on center Ashelyn James, scoring 13 and 11 points respectively in the half.

Defensively, Goldsboro held Kinston to five first-period points and kept hot-shooting