12/10/04 — GHS-N. Lenoir basketball

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GHS-N. Lenoir basketball

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 10, 2004 1:56 PM

Slippery floor conditions and humid temperatures forced a late-game suspension between Goldsboro High and North Lenoir's varsity boys basketball teams Thursday evening.

Midway through the third period, Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan and North Lenoir coach Paul Dunn III met at halfcourt with the officials to discuss the situation. They agreed to suspend the highly-anticipated matchup once the quarter had concluded.

Katie Maloney and Jessica Faison

News-Argus/Dennis Hill

North Lenoir's Katie Maloney, right, reaches in to slap the ball away from Goldsboro's Jessica Faison during their non-conference game Thursday evening.

The decision drew jeers from the 600-plus fans packed into the sweltering gymnasium, which had condensation dripping from the windows and walls. Jordan, Dunn and school officials could not, in their good conscious, continue the game without fear of causing injury to the players.

North Lenoir led 48-42 at that point.

"I would have liked for the crowd to see the full extent of the varsity boys game," Goldsboro High Principal Pat Burden said. "I would hate to see anyone get hurt because of the condition of the floor due to the humidity in the building and the warmth outside.

"There was very little we could do to change the floor conditions and ensure the safety for the students who are playing."

School officials from Goldsboro and North Lenoir were to confer today about a possible playing date to finish the game. Burden said that when the teams meet again, a minimal fee will be charged to help cover the cost of the officials and use of the 54-year-old facility.

North Lenoir bolted to a 14-2 lead in the opening period and Goldsboro couldn't seem to get untracked offensively. Omar Jones tallied 12 first-quarter points, four rebounds and an assist for the hot-shooting Hawks.

The Cougars, unbeaten at home this season, kept their poise and slowly trimmed the deficit to a single possession midway through the second quarter. Raheem Lofton and Tim Kornegay emerged the offensive leaders in the second period, while Daquan Joyner controlled the lane with five rebounds and two blocked shots.

"North Lenoir came out and jumped on us right from the start," Jordan said. "By the same token, I give a world of credit to our kids because we didn't fold the tent. We came back and got it back to two a couple of times."

The Hawks answered with a small run to grab a 37-32 lead at halftime.

Folks from Goldsboro High spent the entire halftime mopping the wet hardwood floor in hopes of alleviating the problem. As temperatures rose in the facility due to the near-capacity crowd and the humidity, the conditions worsened and led to dangerous footing for the players.

"The floor just changed the whole game for both teams, especially late in the third quarter," Jordan said. "No one really played any defense. We made the right decision because there are too many kids out there who have future (college) careers, and it wasn't worth putting that on the line."

The Hawks looked forward to playing in the historic facility that has housed some great basketball teams over the past few decades. They also seeked revenge for losing to the Cougars in the title game of the 2003 North Lenoir Invitational.

"It was slick and I told the guys that somebody was looking out for us," first-year North Lenoir coach Paul Dunn III said. "I didn't want to risk my guys getting hurt and Randy didn't want to risk his guys getting hurt.

"It was the best thing for them to call this game and come back at a later date."

Each team entered the contest 5-0.

In a battle of defending conference champions, an early third-quarter surge proved significant as Goldsboro's girls dealt previously-unbeaten North Lenoir a 51-46 loss.

The Cougars (4-2) held a slim five-point lead at halftime, but extended it to double digits behind the inside play of Ashelyn James. A senior post player, James collected 10 of her game-high 20 points during that stretch.

"We just didn't do a good job of fronting her," veteran Hawks coach Wayne Floyd said. "We told them to do it, but they didn't stay in the block. We've got a sophomore in there and she got lost. There was nothing we could do about it."

Goldsboro, however, could never pull away.

North Lenoir's full-court 1-2-2 zone and man-to-man presses caused numerous turnovers. The Hawks (6-1) had trouble finishing the play offensively, but still managed to climb within two possessions with less than a minute to go.

The Cougars, meanwhile, kept the visitors in the game with poor free throw shooting. They missed three consecutive front ends of one-and-one situations in the final two minutes.

The game featured three ties and four lead changes in the first quarter. Goldsboro built a 22-13 lead, only to see the Hawks close within 24-19 at halftime.

"Going into halftime, I was very upset with them because North Lenoir is doing exactly what I told you (the girls) they would do," Goldsboro coach Gladys McClary said. "But you're not doing what I told you to do. All the mistakes we made (early), North Lenoir capitalized on them. We were standing around on defense and offensively we appeared as if we didn't know exactly where were going.

"At some point in time, we started getting it together."

Forwards Jessica Faison and Carmille Early complemented James' third-quarter effort with a combined six points, two rebounds and two assists.

Both Floyd and McClary agreed the non-conference game tested their respective teams. Each found some things they need to tweak before conference play begins.

"The girls played hard and this will help us," Floyd said.

Girls game

North Lenoir 9 10 16 11 -- 46

Goldsboro 9 15 16 11 -- 51


Shannon Plymouth 6 2 0-0 18, Brittany McPhail 0 0 0-0 0, Keshonia Miller 0 0 0-0 0, Chanee Lynch 2 1 0-0 7, Katie Maloney 2 0 2-4 6, Shalona Newkirk 2 0 4-4 8, Lashura Spruill 0 0 0-0 0, Carla Miller 3 0 1-2 7. TOTALS -- 15 3 7-10 46.


Carmille Early 3 0 0-0 6, Chevoya Jackson 5 3 0-2 19, Helga Bryant 0 0 0-0 0, Mikeda Graham 0 0 0-0 0, Jessica Faison 2 0 2-5 6, Ashelyn James 7 0 6-9 20, Shevona Meadows 0 0 0-0 0. TOTALS -- 17 3 8-16 51.

Three-point goals -- North Lenoir 3 (Plymouth 2, Lynch), Goldsboro 3 (Jackson 3). Turnovers -- Goldsboro 21, North Lenoir 14. Total fouls -- Goldsboro 11, North Lenoir 12. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.