02/02/05 — Cougars' slide continues at Eastern Wayne

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Cougars' slide continues at Eastern Wayne

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on February 2, 2005 1:58 PM

In their first meeting against Goldsboro, Eastern Wayne's men's basketball team struggled during key stretches taking care of the basketball -- committing 18 turnovers in a tough loss at the Cougar Den.

Tuesday night, the Warriors trimmed the margin down to seven miscues and claimed a 68-56 win over their archrival Cougars in front of a packed house in New Hope.

Guards Justin Richardson (30 points) and Adrian Kendrick (13 points) combined for 78 percent of Eastern Wayne's scoring output. The duo rarely settled for jump shots, often penetrating and scoring through the lane at will.

"They played out on our jumpers, so I figured I could get easy shots inside the lane," Richardson said. "It was important (to eliminate turnovers). They are so big inside and they beat us on the boards, so we have to make up for it in other areas."

The win improves the Warriors (8-10 overall) to 7-6 in a tight race in the middle of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference with three games left. The Cougars (11-10, 7-7 ECC) have just two games remaining on their schedule.

Seven men's teams went into Tuesday's action in N.C. High School Athletic Association playoff contention. Only five will get in.

"We just don't play in any defense. You can't miss the amount of foul shots we missed and three and four foot bunny's and expect to come out with a win," Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan said. "Right now we are fighting for our playoff lives and we are running out of time.

"We've got to show up and play 32 minutes."

After a tight first half, Goldsboro went up 33-29 early in the third period on a put-back by De'onta Anderson. From there, Richardson posted six points -- twice converting steals into layups -- as the Warriors went on a 14-2 run to create separation.

The Cougars got the lead down to six and had several opportunities to cut farther into the deficit late in the third, before Eastern Wayne steadily pulled away in the final period. Richardson posted 12 of his 30 points in the fourth, and dished out an assist to Chris Campbell near the one minute mark. Campbell took the pass and put the exclamation point on the win with a thunderous dunk

"We wanted to do a better job of taking care of the basketball," Eastern Wayne coach Marvin Bowman said. "We used our quickness to our advantage tonight. Our guards really worked well together as a tandem. We wanted the basketball and get it up the court."

Daquan Joyner led the Cougars with 16 points, including 10 in the first half. Joe Houpe came off the bench to score 11 for Goldsboro.

The women's game proved much tighter than a 25-point blowout win by the Lady Cougars earlier in the season with Goldsboro eventually hanging on to claim a 56-51 victory. Eastern Wayne climbed out of a 40-29 deficit after three periods to storm all the way back to take a 49-48 lead late in the fourth on a basket down low from Kristen Elliott.

The Cougars regained the lead for good shortly after when Ashelyn James, who finished with a game-best 26 points, converted a 3-point play with 1:20 left. The Warriors had a golden opportunity to tie the game with 14 seconds left, but missed two foul shots, before a put-back attempt sailed wide. Chevoya Jackson, who added 13 points for Goldsboro (19-3, 14-0), knocked down a pair at the line in the waning seconds to push the game to its final margin.

The win maintained the Cougars' 30-game winning streak in ECC play as they have clinched home court advantage in the conference tournament regardless of their outcome in the next three games.

"It was a very intense game. I think Eastern Wayne has improved a lot," Goldsboro coach Gladys McClary said. "I'm glad these girls learned to persevere. It doesn't happen now, it's going to soon happen. They didn't panic when Eastern Wayne went up by one. They executed when we really needed them to, and I'm really proud of that."

Yasmine Washington and Sierra King dropped in 15 points each for the Warriors and both proved pivotal in Eastern Wayne's comeback effort in the fourth. Coach Brent Holland hopes the hard-fought loss will boost his team in their final three games as the Warriors (7-11, 6-7) are currently just outside of the playoff picture.

"The effort was there all night, except for five minutes to go in the third quarter," Eastern Wayne coach Brent Holland said. "We got into a little lull and turned the ball over a few times. We started playing with a sense of urgency in the fourth."

"I told the girls, 'let's build on this loss. We've got three games to go and their is still an outside chance we can get the fifth seed.'"

In a game of runs, the Lady Cougars started the game on a 12-0 sprint before the Warriors answered with an 8-1 jaunt to close the period. The game remained tight through the second period as Goldsboro took a 25-23 lead into intermission.

A three by Washington helped Eastern Wayne force a 25-25 tie early in the third, but Goldsboro quickly countered with an 11-0 run keyed by the scoring of Jackson and James. By the end of the third period, the Cougars led 40-29.

Eastern Wayne never went away in the fourth as the Warriors surged to a 20-4 run in a five-minute span with Washington and King combing for 16 points in the final period, before Goldsboro eventually claimed the win.

Goldsboro travels to Kinston on Friday, while the Warriors take on Southern Wayne in Dudley.