01/05/05 — Kinston shuts down Joyner, deals youth-laden Cougars an ECC defeat

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Kinston shuts down Joyner, deals youth-laden Cougars an ECC defeat

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on January 5, 2005 1:57 PM

Perhaps the only thing the Kinston High School men's basketball team needed was a little senior leadership at the point.

Senior guard Darryl Jones scored a game-high 16 points and dished out 10 assists, and the youthful Vikings held standout sophomore Daquan Joyner without a field goal in the first half in taking a 57-46 win at Goldsboro on Tuesday night.

"Without question, I think Darryl set the tone for us tonight," Kinston coach Wells Gulledge said. "He got to the basket and finished some exciting plays for us. His intensity level really carried our team."

Jones scored nine points in the opening quarter as the Vikings (5-5 overall, 2-3 Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference) outscored Goldsboro 20-7. The Cougars would never fully recover.

Steve Sherrod and Calvin Miller combined for 22 points to round out the balanced Kinston attack.

"All of our players fed off Darryl's emotion tonight," Gulledge said. "They followed his lead, and we got the desired result."

The basketball gods were much kinder to the Goldsboro women's team earlier in the night.

Junior guard Chevoya Jackson had 17 points, seven assists and seven steals to help the Lady Cougars remain unbeaten in conference play with a 57-30 win over Kinston.

According to Cougars men's coach Randy Jordan, his players bared little resemblance to a team chasing a conference championship on this night.

"We didn't show up to play," Jordan said. "We didn't answer the bell. If we're not going to show up to play, there's not a whole lot we can do. I obviously have to do a better job of getting this team prepared and getting this team to play harder."

Joyner, Goldsboro's underclassman phenom and 6-foot-6 power forward, rebounded from his poor first-half showing to finish with 15 points and nine rebounds. Still, his lack of productivity in the first 16 minutes was enough to help Kinston claim a 36-16 at the break.

It was too much to make up as the Vikings ran a deliberate, clock-consuming offense during the fourth quarter. The closest Goldsboro (9-4, 5-2) would get was 49-36 -- following a Joyner dunk -- with 5:35 remaining.

"We slowed things down a bit," Gulledge said. "At the end of the game, we were willing to trade away some of our 17-point lead in order to run 45 seconds off the clock. You do the math. The game was over with. When you're on the road, you do what you have to do."

Goldsboro will now have to go on the road to face conference-leading Southern Wayne -- a team yet to taste defeat inside league play -- on Friday night.

"We don't have any excuses," Jordan said. "I'm not encouraged when we don't make a run at the other team until we're down 20-to-25 points. We have to come to play from the start. This was a huge missed chance for us in the conference.

"We better use this a motivation heading into Friday night."

Cliff Lawson was the Cougars' second-leading scorer with seven points.

Matters were the exact opposite for the Goldsboro women.

The Cougars (12-2, 7-0) opened the second quarter on a 13-0 run. Jackson, Helga Bryant and Nickie Garner all buried 3-point baskets during the period to put Kinston (4-6, 2-2) in a 34-15 halftime hole.

"Chevoya did an excellent job running our offense tonight," Goldsboro coach Gladys McClary said. "Her teammates have great respect for her." Ashelyn James also deserved some respect for her work in the paint. James finished with game-highs in points (18) and rebounds (eight).

The Vikings were limited to a mere two field goals in both the first and third quarters. No Kinston player reached double figures in scoring.

Despite the impressive showing on both ends of the court, McClary believes her team won't suffer from a collective swollen ego as it searches for its second straight perfect conference season.

"We try to keep our practices very intense, and we just build off of that," McClary said. "We understand what happens when players get complacent. We see that, no matter what our record is, we still have room to grow."

That must be a scary thought for the rest of the conference.