Goldsboro bows out
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on February 15, 2007 2:23 PM
SNOW HILL -- Neither Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan nor Greene Central coach Robert Browning could ever recall a quarter like the one they witnessed on Wednesday night.
Greene Central executed a near perfect first quarter, while Goldsboro's was anything but, as the Rams erupted to a 30-3 lead at the end of the period and held on for a 79-67 victory in the semifinals of the Eastern Plains 2-A Conference Tournament.
"I've coached over 400 games and I don't know the last time I saw what I saw there in the first quarter," said Jordan. "We couldn't do anything right and Greene Central did everything right."
Goldsboro knew it was do or die entering the EPC Tournament and passed its first test on Monday night by beating Tarboro on the road 74-71. This time, the Cougars faced an even stiffer challenge in the EPC regular season champs who were anxious to show their title was no fluke.
"I talked to (my players) about being focused and that the kids from Goldsboro were extremely talented and if we were as good as we thought we were then it would show tonight because Goldsboro was going to bring it," said Browning, whose Rams beat Goldsboro for the fourth straight time. "I guess our guys stepped up and decided to bring it too."
Greene Central played like champions in the first eight minutes as the Rams could do no wrong against the Cougars.
The Rams scored on their first 10 possessions and held Goldsboro scoreless on its first 15. On defense, a relentless full-court press helped the Rams force 12 turnovers and made just getting a shot off a challenge for the Cougars.
"A lot of different people scored, we took charges, we boxed out, we rebounded, we denied the post -- it was almost like a perfect quarter there," said Browning.
When Goldsboro sophomore Reco McCarter threw down a jam with 1:29 to play in the quarter, Greene Central had gone up 25-2.
The Cougars finally got going in the second quarter and outscored the Rams 26-18 to go into halftime trailing 48-29.
In the second half, Goldsboro played like a team on a mission.
"They walked out of the locker room believing what Greene Central did to us in the first half, we can do to them in the second half," said Jordan.
The Cougars cut the lead to nine when McCarter drilled a 3-pointer that capped a 17-5 run.
In the fourth quarter, Goldsboro once again seemed poised to get closer. Daquan Joyner swatted back-to-back Ram shots and Tim Kornegay scored on two drives to the basket to make the score 63-54 with five minutes to play.
Greene Central had an answer with the help of Tra Travis, who would score seven straight points to push the lead back to 16 while Goldsboro was held scoreless on its next five possessions, virtually ending the Cougars' comeback hopes.
"I give all the credit to our kids for not quitting and believing in each other," said Jordan, whose team outscored the Rams 64-49 over the game's final three quarters. "We had it to nine a couple of times, but just couldn't get over the hump. We ran out of gas."
A pair of seniors led the way for Goldsboro as Kornegay scored 16 points and Joyner added 12 with seven rebounds and seven blocks. Junior Tavon Murchison came off the bench to contribute 10 points and five steals.
Greene Central (18-6), which will host North Pitt at 7:30 p.m. in the EPC title game, put five players in double-figures, led by Travis' 17 points.
The Cougars finish their season 14-12 and will say goodbye to the talented senior class of Kornegay, Joyner, Eric McLean, Jameson Wellington, Tremé Boone, Brandon Sampson and Antonio Green.
"They did a lot of good things over the four years," said Jordan. "They've got a winning overall record over their high school careers, Goldsboro's first conference championship in 14 years and played in prestigious tournaments. This group accomplished a lot."
Goldsboro 3 26 19 19 -- 67
Greene Central 30 18 13 18 -- 79
Tim Kornegay 7 0 2-3 16, Daquan Joyner 6 0 0-0 12, Tavon Murchison 5 0 0-1 10, Reco McCarter 2 1 0-0 9, Tim Hobbs 3 0 2-6 8, Antonio Green 1 0 1-2 3, Eric McLean 1 0 1-1 3, Brandon Sampson 1 0 0-0 2, Aric Sinclair 1 0 0-0 2, Tremé Boone 0 0 1-2 1, Kevonta McDuffie 0 0 1-2 1. TOTALS -- 28 1 8-17 67.
GREENE CENTRAL (18-6)
Tra Travis 4 2 3-5 17, Albert Barron 8 0 0-3 16, Reggie Johnson 3 2 2-4 14, Chavalier Howell 3 1 2-5 11, Brandon Sutton 3 0 4-5 10, Curt Braswell 2 1 2-4 9, Marcus Lee 0 0 2-2 2. TOTALS -- 23 6 15-28 79.
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