01/26/05 — Goldsboro High women win 27th straight ECC game

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Goldsboro High women win 27th straight ECC game

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 26, 2005 1:55 PM

Facing vastly different scenarios, both Goldsboro varsity basketball teams got a lot of minutes out of their reserve players in the second half against West Carteret at home on Tuesday.

The Lady Cougars started their game on an 11-0 run midway through the first period -- storming to a sizable margin at halftime before defeating the Patriots 58-35.

Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference-leading Goldsboro (16-3, 11-0 ECC) won its 27th straight league contest. The Patriots (9-8 overall) dropped to 6-5 against conference foes.

Forward Ashelyn James scored 18 points, while guard Chevoya Jackson added 14 despite not playing in the final period. Jessica Faison contributed nine points off of the bench for Goldsboro in an all-purpose role.

"Starting the game out with intensity was important for us," Goldsboro coach Gladys McClary said. "We've got a three-game week and getting out to a good start was important. Our defense played very well and led to a lot of transition baskets for us.

"Our bench did a great job executing and keeping their eyes on the clock."

In the men's game, Goldsboro cut West Carteret's lead to 41-39 early in the third period -- only to see the Patriots answer and outscore the Cougars 24-9 the rest of the third on their way to an 80-68 road win.

The win was West Carteret's third-straight in ECC play as it improved to 12-5 overall and 6-5 against league foes. The Cougars (10-8 overall) fell to 6-5 in conference play.

"We are just not playing very hard. It doesn't matter what defense we go to or what offense we call, if the kids aren't going to play hard it doesn't matter," Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan said. I've got to do a better job of motivating us. They showed up to play and we didn't."

The Cougars jumped out to an impressive 8-1 start after a steal by Daquan Joyner led to a layup by De'onta Anderson just 1:30 into the contest. In what became a pattern through the game, West Carteret answered Goldsboro's opening run with an 11-0 push after three straight baskets by Johnny Thomas, who finished with a game-high 20 points.

The Patriots never trailed again after taking the lead midway through the first.

"We knew coming into the game they we're a huge team, but we didn't think they could shoot very well," West Carteret coach Craig McClanahan said. "We executed our offense tonight pretty much to perfection."

Drew Poulk drilled the first of his three 3-pointers for the Patriots to open the second -- pushing the margin to 23-13. With improved defense, Goldsboro outscored the visitors 15-5 in the middle stages of the period, but West Carteret still managed to take a 39-32 lead into halftime.

The Cougars had some momentum coming out of halftime as Raheem Loftin, who contributed 13 points, picked up a steal and converted in transition to pull Goldsboro back within two at 41-39 just one minute into the third.

Thomas then answered with a 3, followed by a Cougar turnover as the Patriots took control of the game with consistent execution on both ends of the floor. The Patriots got into the bonus early in the fourth and led at one point 76-56 before the Cougars chipped at the lead down the stretch.

Trailing by 15 after three, Jordan sent five reserve players to the court. The Patriots never let their lead slip and did ample damage from the foul line in the fourth, making 10 of 22, but Jordan was pleased with the effort of his bench.

Loftin had seven points in the fourth, while Khayeff Marsh, Eric McLean and Cliff Lawson also contributed.

"Those kids played hard and worked their tails off," Jordan said about his reserves. "I'm very proud of that group that went in and played hard."

Goldsboro's women got out of the gate quick as James dropped in 10 points before the end of the first as the Cougars easily charged to an 18-5 lead after one. After a two minute stretch without a basket, James posted a 3-point play, before Jackson knocked down two, 3-pointers as the Cougars put plenty of distance between themselves and the visitors.

James' turnaround jumper at the buzzer sent Goldsboro into the locker room with a 35-13 margin at halftime.

With McClary experimenting with a handful of new looks and lineups, the Cougars continued to control the game in the third, leading by as much as 43-19 after a basket by Faison on an assist from Jackson.

With the game put away, the Cougars substitutes didn't manage a field goal in the first 3:15 of the fourth, but maintained the defensive pressure and efficiently ran the offense with the lead. Reserve guard Mikeda Graham drilled a jumper at the buzzer -- putting the finishing touches on the win and the quality effort from the bench.

"Everyone contributed. It's good when you have players who can step up in other positions," McClanahan said. "Whether they start or come off the bench, they are able to make that adjustment and I can concentrate on teaching them."

Both Goldsboro teams return to action today at Washington.