Orange deals Goldsboro three-point loss
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on February 24, 2006 2:21 PM
Goldsboro's boys basketball team's inability to get past Orange High in the Class 2-A N.C. High School Athletic Association sectional semifinals essentially came down to the little things.
The fundamentals of basketball -- free-throw shooting, boxing out, taking care of the ball down the stretch -- all plagued the Cougars in a heart-breaking, 71-68 loss at home to the Panthers.
Goldsboro improved on all of those areas in the fourth quarter as the home team erased a 53-45 deficit after three to climb back within striking distance. The scoring of Daquan Joyner, who had a game-high 30 points, and Tim Kornegay (17 points), along with solid, fullcourt team defense helped the Cougars take their first lead of the second half at 68-67 with 42.5 seconds left in the game.
From there, Goldsboro had two near misses under the goal, a mental mistake and turnover on an errant inbounds pass, then one final miss on a good look on a 3-pointer from at the buzzer that would have tied the game. Off the miss, the under-sized but quick Orange squad pulled down its final rebound as time expired.
The Panthers, which shot a consistent, 17-of-22 (77 percent) at the stripe, made four-of-six in the final minute to push the score to its final margin. Meanwhile, Goldsboro (15-11), the Eastern Plains Conference champions, hit just 10-of-22 (45 percent) and missed out on three, 3-point play opportunities.
"We didn't deserve to win. We didn't show up to play for three quarters. We only outplayed them for one quarter, and you can't win many games doing that," Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan said.
Orange (20-8), the Mid-State Conference's No. 2 seed, moves on to face the winner of Franklinton (16-7) and Cardinal Gibbons (19-7) in the sectional finals on Saturday at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough.
"We've been in a lot of close games in our conference, and I think that helps us in these games that come down to the final minute," Orange coach Gene Motley said. "Goldsboro is big and athletic, so we just preached all week that we were going to have to use our speed. These kids just persevered and played tough."
Goldsboro jumped out to a 6-0 start in the first two minutes with two baskets by Joyner down low and a drive-and-score by Burnie Best. Quickly, the Panthers countered with six-straight points of their own and used their quickness on both ends of the court, especially under the boards, to outscore the Cougars 19-8 during a 4:30 stretch of the first.
Still, the 6-foot-2 Kornegay and the 6-7 Joyner kept pace with the scoring of Orange's speedy guard Marcus Tuck and versatile forward Brandon Dooley to trail just 25-19 in a fast-paced, first quarter that saw seven lead-changes.
The scoring slowed considerably in the second with the two teams combining for just 19 points as the Panthers took a 36-27 lead into intermission.
"We stood around and watched. We took our size for granted and didn't play with passion and didn't execute the game plan we worked on for three days," Jordan said. "This team needs to get tougher mentally and physically if they are ever going to achieve the goals they want to achieve."
Goldsboro showed signs in the third quarter of what was to come in the fourth as Joyner scored six-straight points to key a 10-4 run as the Cougars' 1-2-1 defense seemed to slow Orange's attack. The Cougars got as close as 42-40 on a basket by Raheem Lofton, one-of-three Goldsboro seniors, with 4:30 left, before the visitors from Hillsborough boosted the margin back to 53-45 after tough baskets in the paint by C.J. Mebane and Tuck.
Kornegay, who was held scoreless in the second and third, turned up the intensity on the defensive end at the start of the fourth with three steals in two minutes to ignite a 7-0 spurt to pull Goldsboro within one at 53-52.
The Cougars pulled even for the first time since the first quarter at 63-63 on a layup by Kornegay with 2:30 mark, but Orange had an answer. Taylor Gray canned a clutch, 3-pointer for the Panthers to push the lead back out to four with 1:30 left. The basket proved to be the last field goal of the game for Orange, but it got enough defensive stops and rebounds and made four clutch free throws to help secure the win.
"It was a great defensive effort in the fourth quarter. I loved our heart, intensity and passion in the fourth quarter. If we play like that the first three quarters, it's not even close," Jordan said.
Tuck paced Orange with 19 points, while Dooley (18 points), Mebane (16 points) and William Byrd (10 points) also reached double-figures. All of the Panthers' scoring came from their starting five.
Branden Herring, Clifton Lawson and Lofton played in their final basketball games for Goldsboro, which won its first conference title in 13 years this season.
"We appreciate our seniors. They gave us everything they had," Jordan said.
2006 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 2-A
Eastern Sectional No. 3 Playoffs
(at Goldsboro HS)
Orange 25 11 17 18 -- 71
Goldsboro 19 8 18 25 -- 68
ORANGE HIGH (20-8)
Marcus Tuck 7 0 5-8 19, Brandon Dooley 4 2 4-4 18, C.J. Mebane 5 0 6-8 16, William Byrd 4 0 2-2 10, Taylor Gray 1 2 0-0 8. TOTALS -- 21 4 17-22 71.
GOLDSBORO HIGH (15-11)
Daquan Joyner 14 0 2-5 30, Tim Kornegay 5 2 1-3 17, Treme Boone 3 0 1-3 7, Burnie Best 2 0 2-7 6, Raheem Lofton 1 0 2-2 4, Antonio Green 1 0 2-2 4. TOTALS -- 26 2 10-22 68.
3-point goals -- OHS 4 (Dooley 2, Gray 2), GHS 2 (Kornegay 2). Turnovers -- OHS 16, GHS 14. Total fouls -- OHS 17, GHS 15. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.
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