Saints complete regular-season sweep of Cougars
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on December 18, 2005 2:19 AM
Coming into Friday's game at Goldsboro, Southern Wayne coach Mike Connelley knew getting out to a solid start would be one of the most important factors for his veteran-led Saints.
Southern Wayne jumped out to a 21-9 lead after the first quarter and led by nearly 30 at one point in the second as the Saints claimed a 99-82 win in front of a capacity crowd at the Cougar Den.
"We talked about starting hard. We equated it to going to Duke and playing at Cameron, because they are going to be very emotional," said second-year Southern Wayne boys coach Mike Connelley. "I thought we came out ready to play, and I was pleased with our intensity. We aren't 30 points better than they are, but we were playing well."
Goldsboro's girls avenged a 15-point loss earlier in the season in Dudley, defeating the Lady Saints 57-45.
After trailing Southern Wayne 9-8 after a sluggish first quarter, the Lady Cougars led most of the second and third, before the Saints battled from behind to tie the game with five minutes left. From there, Goldsboro senior guard Chevoya Jackson, who finished with 30 points, sparked a 14-2 run down the stretch that boosted her team to a 5-3 mark on the season.
"This game let us know that our girls are improving. They stepped up and played hard," Goldsboro coach Gladys McClary said. "When a player plays at her (Jackson's) level, you have to put them team on your back sometimes. She keeps learning when to include the other players and when to take things herself."
Angel Roberts chipped in a career-high 13 points for the Cougars.
Southern Wayne's Ebony Darden emerged the lone Saint in double figures with 20 points. Lynn Grantham added nine points, all coming in the first half. Southern Wayne slipped to 3-5 on the year.
Akeem Royal finished with a game-high 33 points for Southern Wayne's boys, while teammate and fellow senior Delawn Armwood dropped in 24 points and 14 rebounds. Antonio Davis added 18 points in the post and shot 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in a game that saw Southern Wayne make 15 more at the line than Goldsboro.
The Saints finished 25-37 (68 percent), while the Cougars shot 10-23 (43 percent).
Goldsboro, which struggled from the field and had leading scorer Daquan Joyner saddled with foul trouble in the first half, turned in improved play after intermission -- cutting the deficit under 15 points several times.
Joyner didn't have a field goal and managed just one point in the first half, before dropping in 11 baskets and 23 points after the break. During a 10-minute stretch in the second half, Joyner tallied 21 points -- mostly underneath on entry passes from Goldsbor's guards and put-backs.
"That's our game plan from the start every game, and our guys have to get on board. We don't have a super star system, but when you've got a couple of guys who can score anytime they touch the ball, you've got to get them touches.
"In the first half, we got out of what we wanted to do. We settled for some shots that weren't our game, and we didn't get back in transition on defense and it led to easy baskets for them."
Despite Joyner's dominance, the Saints, who had their fair share of foul trouble at the guard spots, always had an answer. The Cougars cut the margin to 69-56 early in the fourth, before Royal responded with a 3-pointer from the left wing to boost the lead back to 72-56.
In a high-scoring fourth quarter in which the two county rivals combine for 62 points, Southern Wayne outscored Goldsboro 32-30 with Royal providing 16 of those points.
Southern Wayne's first-half lead was fueled by consistent offensive play by Royal, Armwood and Austin Hood and solid team-rebounding underneath on the defensive end. The Saints often limited the Cougars to one shot, then quickly started their offense against a Goldsboro defense that struggled with transition defense.
During the first 11 minutes of play, Goldsboro had just four field goals and nine turnovers as the Saints eventually took a 46-26 lead into halftime.
"We feel like we have to play quick, but sometimes when you play quick, you play nuts when the crowd starts getting into the game," Connelley said. "We came into the game with only three guards, because we had one player sick. I thought our guards played well, even when they got into foul trouble."
Goldsboro's girls took control of their game in the second period with good defense as the offense was led by Roberts, who had eight points during the second. Jackson picked up her scoring after the break as she finished with 21 points in the second half, including 9-of-14 shooting from the stripe.
Southern Wayne started chipping away at the Lady Cougars' lead late in the third as Darden had some tough baskets underneath and Christy Dixon added a 3-pointer to make it 40-36 early in the fourth.
The Saints forced the only tie at 43-43 on a put-back by Lynnesha Leonard, but Jackson and Goldsboro quickly countered with a convincing run to put the game out of reach.
"We shot it something like 57 times and only made 16. We just couldn't finish," Southern Wayne girls coach Sally Combs said. "We were prepared, we just didn't execute."
Goldsboro returns to action on Monday at home against Jones Senior. Southern Wayne's boys will take part in the White Oak Christmas Tournament in Jacksonville Dec. 28-30, while the Lady Saints are off until Jan. 4 when they travel to Wallace-Rose Hill.
Southern Wayne 9 11 13 12 -- 45
Goldsboro 8 18 12 19 -- 57
SOUTHERN WAYNE (2-5)
Ebony Darden 8 1 1-5 20, Lynn Grantham 3 1 0-0 9, Jamika Allen 1 0 0-0 2, Shakoria Clark 0 0 1-2 1, Christy Dixon 1 1 0-0 5, Kiera Ingram 1 0 0-3 2, Lynnesha Leonard 2 0 2-5 6. TOTALS -- 15 3 4-13 45.
Chevoya Jackson 9 0 12-17 30, Angel Roberts 6 0 1-3 13, Helga Bryant 1 0 1-2 3, Kianna Williams 1 1 1-2 6, Tiffany Burden 2 0 1-2 5. TOTALS -- 19 1 16-26 57.
3-point goals -- Southern Wayne 3 (Darden, Grantham, Dixon), Goldsboro 1 (Williams). Turnovers -- Southern Wayne 22, Goldsboro 20. Total fouls -- Southern Wayne 19, Goldsboro 12. Fouled out -- Ingram (SW). Technical fouls -- Combs (SW, bench).
Southern Wayne 21 25 21 32 -- 99
Goldsboro 9 17 26 30 -- 82
SOUTHERN WAYNE (6-1)
Akeem Royal 6 5 6-8 33, Delawn Armwood 6 2 6-9 24, Antonio Davis 6 0 6-6 18, Derek Garris 2 0 2-3 6, Austin Hood 3 0 0-5 6, Kendrick Thompson 1 0 0-0 2, Justin Bellamy 0 1 2-2 5, Jaffari Ward 1 0 3-4 5. TOTALS -- 25 8 25-37 99.
Daquan Joyner 11 0 2-5 24, Tim Kornegay 6 0 2-3 14, Branden Herring 4 0 0-0 8, Burnie Best 0 0 1-2 1, Eric McLean 1 1 0-0 5, Anthony Artis 3 0 1-5 7, Tim Hobbs 3 0 0-0 6, Treme Boone 0 0 1-2 1, Brandon Sampson 1 0 0-0 2, Joe Houpe 1 0 0-0 2, Mike Isler 3 0 3-6 9, Antonio Green 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 34 1 10-23 82.
3-point goals -- Southern Wayne 8 (Royal 5, Armwood 2, Bellamy), Goldsboro 1 (McLean). Turnovers -- Southern Wayne 11, Goldsboro 16. Total fouls -- Goldsboro 26, Southern Wayne 21. Fouled out -- Davis (SW). Technical fouls -- none.
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