12/21/04 — Cougar Holiday Classic

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Cougar Holiday Classic

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 21, 2004 1:55 PM

Exams are over.

A grueling stretch in conference play has ended successfully.

Now, it's time for some fun.

The Goldsboro High varsity basketball teams return to action Wednesday in the 2004 Cougar Holiday Classic. The Cougar girls and boys will face Knightdale at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively.

Tim Kornegay

News-Argus/Dennis Hill

Goldsboro High's Tim Kornegay, a sophomore, brings the ball upcourt during Friday's contest against county rival Eastern Wayne. The Cougars return to action Wednesday against Knightdale in their own Holiday Classic. Game time is 8 p.m.

Beddingfield opposes East Wake at 2 and 4 p.m.

Goldsboro boys coach Randy Jordan had to change the tournament format and go with a "classic" configuration. Since Knightdale and East Wake compete in the Class 4-A Triangle Alliance Conference, none of the schools' coaches wished to play each other before their league season began.

Jordan agreed, which means the Cougars and Beddingfield will switch opponents for the second day. The Bruins face Knightdale, while the Cougars will play East Wake.

Admission is $5 per day.

"I'm excited about the field," Jordan said. "Knightdale is a new high school, but they're a big 4-A and I know their coaches are working real hard to make them as competitive as possible in their first year. Their boys team has won a couple of games.

"East Wake is always a solid program and is well-coached by Larry Lindsey. Beddingfield, we know their girls' program is always very good. Coach (Charles) Howard, his boys have improved over the last year and that's a testament to how hard they are working."

Goldsboro brings a 7-1 record, including a 5-0 home worksheet, into the two-day event.

Six-foot-6 sophomore Daquan Joyner poured in 24 points and ignited a fourth-quarter charge in Friday's victory against county rival Eastern Wayne. Joyner has recorded five triple-doubles in his last eight games.

At least five players average double figures for the Cougars, who prefer to play an up-tempo game and wear opponents down with their size in the post.

"We're looking at the next four games as a chance for us to experiment a little bit, expand our game and work on some things that we hope will help us offensively and defensively in the conference," said Jordan, whose team will play in a holiday tournament next week at Charles B. Aycock.

"We're going to look at some people in some positions that they haven't been working at right now."

The Cougar girls (7-2) put their seven-game win streak on the line. They're 4-1 at home with the only loss occurring against 4-A powerhouse Southeast Raleigh, which is also a member of the Triangle Alliance.

Ashelyn James, Jessica Faison and Carmille Early have been dominant in the post and done an exceptional job of rebounding. James' offensive output is higher than a year ago when Goldsboro advanced to the eastern regional 3-A title game.

Junior Chevoya Jackson is maturing and effectively running the team's offense. She's learning when to take the shot in transition, pass the ball in transition and settle into a halfcourt game.

"We always enjoy hosting the tournament and want to win the tournament, but it's a little less stressful for the kids and coaches," Jordan said. "It's a chance to play and enjoy the holidays."