01/11/05 — North Lenoir halts visiting Cougars

View Archive

North Lenoir halts visiting Cougars

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 11, 2005 1:55 PM

LAGRANGE - The youthful Goldsboro men's basketball team withstood every run North Lenoir senior Justin Dunn and his teammates made -- except the last one.

The Cougars led all the way from the opening tip-off until the final two minutes, before Dunn, who finished with a game-high 33 points, put the Hawks on his back once again in an 80-76 win at a packed Wooten Gymnasium.

Dunn had 12 points in the final quarter, including eight in a row in just over two minutes to tie the game at 71-71 at the 2:20 mark of the fourth. After the two teams traded points for the next couple minutes, Goldsboro's Raheem Loftin knocked in one of two with 30 seconds left to give the Cougars a 76-75 edge.

On the Hawks' next possession, Dunn hit open teammate Emmanuel Rosber underneath with a pass from the top of the key to push North Lenoir (10-2) back up by one.

The Cougars (10-5) next trip down the floor ended in a turnover, before a 3-point attempt in the waning seconds proved just off the mark. After grabbing the rebound, Dunn, who was a sparkling 12-of-14 from the line, made two more from the stripe to seal the dramatic win.

"He put us on our back and took us where we needed to be," North Lenoir coach Paul Dunn III said about his younger brother.

De'onta Anderson led the Cougars with 19 points, while teammate Tim Kornegay provided 18. Daquan Joyner, saddled with foul trouble, finished with nine points -- all in the first half.

"It hurt when we got Daquan in foul trouble. You give credit to North Lenoir," Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan said. "They came out and did the things defensively in the second half that I'm sure Coach Dunn wanted them to do."

In the women's game, an inspired Lady Hawks team -- missing leading scorer Shannon Plymouth -- soared out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back in a 69-58 win over Goldsboro. Plymouth is out for at least a week due to surgery on an infected cyst, but teammates Carla Miller and Katie Maloney picked up the scoring load with 26 and 19 points, respectively.

Chevoya Jackson finished with a team-high 17 points for the Cougars, who had an uncharacteristic 22 turnovers on the game against a lot of zone-trapping defenses by the Hawks (13-1). North Lenoir, which avenged an earlier loss at Goldsboro, led from the opening tip and never let the Cougars (13-3) get any closer than seven points.

"We didn't know what to expect without her (Plymouth), but we told the girls to go out and play hard," North Lenoir coach Wayne Floyd said. "We were able to release and get some easy baskets. That start helped a lot, and it gave us some confidence. We had to come out of the gate with some fire in our eyes."

The loss snapped the Cougars' 13-game winning streak.

"I told them, 'when we get the opening tap, we needed to attack the basket.' We didn't do that," Goldsboro coach Gladys McClary said. "They got steals and attacked the basket. We just did not execute. When the other team gets that momentum, it's hard to get out of that whole.

"My hat's off to North Lenoir."

Goldsboro's boys jumped out to first-period leads of 9-2 and 16-6 with solid defensive pressure up top and balanced scoring. Dunn's driving, two-handed dunk proved to be the lone offensive highlight for the Hawks in a sluggish start.

The Hawks trailed 19-13 after one, before the two teams traded runs in the second. North Lenoir started on a 6-0 surge as the Cougars answered with an 8-2 spurt -- taking a 31-23 lead near the midway point of the period. In a physical game that saw the two teams whistled for a combined, 45 fouls, the Hawks took advantage of their free throw chances in the second by making eight-of-eight.

Still, the Cougars posted one more push before intermission to go up 42-32 after a pull-up jumper by Eric McLean.

The two teams continued to match each other after the break as Joyner picked up his fourth foul in the midst of a 14-3 Hawk run that cut the margin to 45-42 with 4:34 left in the third. Goldsboro's Anderson and Kornegay dueled back-and-forth with North Lenoir's Dunn and Antwan Wiggins as the four players did a bulk of their teams scoring in the third.

Another dunk by Dunn electrified the home crowd and pulled his team to within three at 68-65 near the four-minute mark of the final period, before Kornegay answered with a basket on the other end. From there, Dunn and the Hawks outscored Goldsboro 15-6 the rest of the way.

"That's a senior, and that's why Justin Dunn is a division one player," Jordan said. "We showed we can play with them for 31 minutes, but we need to find a way to win. I know I'm asking a lot of sophomores, but we need to find a way to get it done."

The Cougars will get a chance to avenge Monday's loss on Jan. 26 when the Hawks visit the Cougar Den to complete a suspended game due to slick court conditions from earlier in the season. When play resumes, the Hawks will have a 48-42 advantage at the start of the fourth period.

After falling behind 55-42 after three periods, the Lady Cougars had several chances with four minutes left to get the lead down to seven, but couldn't finish near the basket.

Goldsboro reserves Helga Bryant (12 points) and Nickie Garner (eight points) proved key in helping the Cougars cut into a 20-point Hawk margin early in the third period.

"We made good runs. We did really good in spurts, but we did not look good, long enough," McClary said. "We got some good shots out of Nickie and Helga and we need that as we go farther in the season."

The Hawks were up to the challenge as Miller poured in 16 of her 26 points in the second half. Maloney scored 14 of her 19 in the first half -- many coming in transition after Goldsboro turnovers. Usually double-digit scorers for Goldsboro, neither Ashelyn James nor Jessica Faison managed a field goal in the second half.

The Cougars make the short trip to Charles B. Aycock on Friday, while North Lenoir travels to Wilson Fike today.