Gamble pays off
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on December 29, 2006 2:11 PM
RALEIGH -- The Glaxo-SmithKline Invitational has had its share of big name players over the years. NBA stars like Penny Hardaway, Tim Thomas, Travis Best, Allan Houston, Chris Duhon, Shawn Bradley, Jerry Stackhouse and Phil Ford, to name a few, have all played in the prestigious tournament.
On Thursday evening, the Goldsboro Cougars and Southern Durham Spartans both featured their own set of marquee players.
Goldsboro's tandem of Daquan Joyner and Tim Kornegay met big 6-foot-9 Julian Gamble of Southern Durham.
It was Gamble's squad, however, that came out on top as the big man scored 21 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and swatted three shots to lead the Spartans to a hard-fought 67-59 victory at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.
"It's always nice to play against a marquee player," Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan said. "But then again, we hope Southern Durham says the same thing, because we think we have two marquee players too."
Gamble and Southern Durham took advantage of Daquan Joyner spending a good amount of the first half on the bench to build a 34-17 second-quarter lead on a collection of dunks, put backs and alley-oop jams.
"It was really a nice thing that he was in foul trouble early like that because it did help us out," Southern Durham coach David Pyper said.
The Spartans also used the aggressive Cougar defense against themselves to get easy points in the paint.
"Coach told us they were really aggressive so they like to go for pump fakes," said Gamble, who will be playing next season in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the Miami Hurricanes. "So we were using different fakes and different moves to try and get to the basket and get easy buckets. When you control the paint, you most likely control the game."
Southern Durham sure seemed as if it was going to roll to an easy victory until Joyner reentered the game and the Cougars made a key adjustment.
"We had to change what we do," said Jordan, whose team normally sticks with their man-to-man defense. "We switched it up and went to a 2-3 trap and to a straight 2-3 zone. I think that gave them some trouble and it allowed us to get some steals and get out in transition."
The Cougars defense -- which held Smithfield-Selma to just eight total second-half points in their previous contest -- held Southern Durham scoreless over the final five minutes of the second quarter. During that span, Goldsboro would go on a 13-0 run to pull to within 34-30 at halftime.
"In that first quarter, we did a lot of things that we can do all the time," Pyper said. "In the second quarter, we got a little sloppy."
At the start of the second half, the Spartans regained their composure and went on a 6-0 spurt to push the lead to 10.
Goldsboro again had an answer, outscoring Southern Durham 14-7 over the final 5:25 of the quarter to cut the deficit to 47-44 going into the fourth quarter.
"In the second half, we came out and played hard," Kornegay said.
A big key in cutting into the Southern Durham lead was the play of Joyner on Gamble.
Without Joyner's help in the first half, Gamble dunked and rebounded at will, scoring 15 points. In the second half however, Gamble found far fewer scoring opportunities -- scoring just six second half points.
"Well, it was a challenge because you know he's kinda big and all," Joyner said with a smile. "I had to step up my game. To hold him down, I fronted him and played good defense."
Jordan was happy with the job his players did in the post against the bigger Gamble.
"Our guys knew what we had to do," he said. "We had to make some adjustments and once we did, I thought we defended (Gamble) very well."
Unable to score inside consistently against Joyner, Tim Hobbs, Tremé Boone and Jamar Branch, the Southern Durham offense looked to the perimeter to build the lead back up.
Guard Victory Hunt drilled three three-pointers over a three-minutes span to push the lead back to nine at 58-49.
"(Hunt) stepping up and hitting the big shots really helped the team out a lot," Gamble said.
From there, back-to-back baskets from point guard Jamaal Washington gave Southern Durham a 13-point lead with just under four minutes to play.
Goldsboro would never get closer then eight the rest of the night.
"I'm really proud of the kids," said Jordan, who called Southern Durham the best basketball team Goldsboro has faced this season. "We played hard for 32 minutes. We had it down to one basket, but I think we just dug ourselves in too deep of a hole when it got to 17.
"You're never happy with losing, but I'm proud of the effort and resiliency."
Pyper admired the fight of the Cougars.
"(Goldsboro's) a very good team that never went away and that's a compliment to the coaching staff and players," he said. "It's always fun to play against teams like that, teams that work hard."
Kornegay led Goldsboro (9-3) with a game-high 24 points while Joyner added 10.
The Cougars will now play Knightdale in the third-place game, today at 12:40.
"We're going to have to rebound in a hurry," Jordan said. "I think we'll be ready to play tomorrow. Goldsboro kids are tough."
So. Durham 22 12 13 20 -- 67
Goldsboro 8 22 14 15 -- 59
SOUTHERN DURHAM (6-2)
Jamaal Washington 6 0 0-0 12, Julian Gamble 9 0 3-4 21, Jamario Clayton 2 0 2-3 6, Marcus Wells 2 0 1-1 5, Caleb Toler 3 0 3-4 9, Victor Hunt 0 3 0-0 9, Ronnie Williams 1 1 0-2 5. TOTALS -- 23 4 9-14 67.
Daquan Joyner 4 0 2-2 10, Tim Kornegay 9 1 3-4 24, Tim Hobbs 0 0 2-2 2, Burnie Best 2-2 0 0-1 4, Tremé Boone 0 0 2-2 2, Antonio Green 1 0 2-2 3, Eric McLean 1 1 0-0 5, Kevonta McDuffie 1 0 0-0 2, Jamar Branch 3 0 0-0 6, Aric Sinclair 0 0 0-0 0, Tavon Murchison 0 0 0-0 0, Jameson Wellington 0 0 0-0 0. TOTALS -- 21 2 11-13 59.
Rebounds -- Southern Durham 22 (Gamble 14). Goldsboro 17 (Kornegay 5). Assists -- Southern Durham 5 (Clayton, Hunt 2). Goldsboro 3 (Kornegay, Boone, Branch 1). Blocks -- Southern Durham 3 (Gamble 3). Goldsboro 4 (Joyner 2). Total Fouls -- Southern Durham 14. Goldsboro 16.
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