Goldsboro boys endure heartbreaking OT loss
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 23, 2007 2:25 PM
DEEP RUN -- Two days after upsetting the state's No. 1-ranked men's basketball team, Goldsboro High's season ended in disappointing and controversial fashion, Thursday evening at South Lenoir.
The Blue Devils erased an 11-point, opening-half deficit and turned back the Cougars 62-58 in overtime at Munn Gymnasium. South Lenoir (17-9) entertains St. Pauls in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A Sectional No. 1 championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Goldsboro, a wild-card entry, finished the year 15-13 overall.
The semifinal-round contest featured a contrast of playing styles, a discrepancy in total fouls called and defensive struggles -- particularly on the Cougars' side of the court.
South Lenoir preferred the four-corners tactic to slow the tempo and prevent Goldsboro from capitalizing on its athleticism and quickness. The Blue Devils got a break in the opening half when 6-foot-7 center Daquan Joyner stayed in the locker room with a migraine. Joyner, a McDonald's All-America nominee, started the second half and ended the night with two points, three rebounds, five blocked shots and one assist.
The Cougars managed to establish the tempo and dominated the boards even without Joyner. Goldsboro hit several mid-range jumpers in the paint and converted a few offensive putbacks en route to a 24-13 lead with just under four minutes remaining before halftime.
"Not having Daquan really didn't hurt us too much in the first half," said Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan, who has taken five of six Goldsboro teams to the postseason. "Antonio Green gave us quality minutes and Tim Hobbs got off to a good start."
Still determined to dictate the pace, the Blue Devils climbed within 24-20 on back-to-back layups from Quan Outlaw. Tim Kornegay buried a 3-pointer and extended Goldsboro's lead to 27-20.
South Lenoir held the ball the final 80 seconds of the second quarter, but turned the ball over as time expired. Jordan expected the Blue Devils to continue the pattern in the second half, and he was right.
During halftime and every timeout in the second half, Jordan constantly reminded his team to defend -- switch on the perimeter and deny Outlaw and Alex Graham from getting into the passing lanes. The Cougars couldn't complete the task, and allowed Outlaw and Graham to combine for 35 second-half points. The duo finished with 55 of the Blue Devils' 62-point output overall.
South Lenoir tallied 40 points in the paint, 12 points (all 3-pointers) on the perimeter and 10 points from the free throw line.
"Teams don't usually do that to us," said Jordan. "We just didn't do a good job of switching on the perimeter and denying dribble penetration. Every timeout we called, we talked about it and every timeout they called, we talked about it.
"We were a step behind and trailed the cutter. It changed when Outlaw hit those three 3-pointers."
Outlaw drained consecutive 3-pointers to pull South Lenoir within 32-30. Graham drove through the heart of Goldsboro's defense and canned a layup to force a 34-34 tie. Kornegay broke a 36-36 tie with an offensive putback as the third quarter ended.
The teams worked through three fourth-quarter ties and Goldsboro had a chance to seal the victory in regulation. Kornegay (17 points) put in a layup off Joyner's assist to put the Cougars in front 46-44. South Lenoir turned the ball over on its ensuing possession and Goldsboro, much to Jordan's dismay, returned the favor.
Outlaw converted the miscue into a layup and created a 46-46 tie with 11.3 seconds left. The Cougars committed another turnover, but the Blue Devils coughed the ball up underneath their basket.
"Credit South Lenoir," said Jordan. "They were successful changing the tempo of the game and that really hurt us. Couple that with what we felt were some questionable calls, and the momentum of the game changed."
South Lenoir opened the overtime session with a 9-4 run and benefited from three charging fouls on the Cougars. All three infractions negated Goldsboro baskets and enabled the Blue Devils to maintain at least a one-possession lead.
Outlaw's offensive putback and Graham's two free throws gave the Blue Devils their biggest advantage, 57-52, with 39.9 seconds left. Tavon Murchison collected six of his team-high 18 points in the extra session to keep Goldsboro within striking distance.
However, Graham added four more points and Scott Brown contributed two free throws to keep Goldsboro at bay.
The officiating drew Jordan's ire, but the sixth-year coach refused to go on record about the final one-sided numbers. Officials whistled Goldsboro for 16 second-half fouls and 24 overall. South Lenoir was called for nine fouls, including just two in the final 18 seconds of regulation and none in overtime.
The Blue Devils hit 10 of 22 free throws, while the Cougars were 0 for 3 overall with no second-half attempts.
"I am proud of our kids," said Jordan. "They played well enough to win; they deserved to win. I do feel we are the better team.
"It just wasn't meant to be for this group."
2007 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 2-A
Men's Basketball Playoffs
Sectional No. 1 semifinals
(at South Lenoir HS, Deep Run)
Goldsboro 18 9 11 8 12 -- 58
South Lenoir 8 12 16 10 16 -- 62
Reco McCarter 0 0 0-0 0, Tim Kornegay 7 1 0-0 17, Tavon Murchison 9 0 0-1 18, Eric McLean 1 1 0-0 5, Kevonta McDuffie 1 0 0-0 2, Tim Hobbs 4 0 0-1 8, Treme Boone 2 0 0-0 4, Brandon Sampson 0 0 0-0 0, Daquan Joyner 1 0 0-0 2, Antonio Green 1 0 0-1 2. TOTALS -- 26 2 0-3 58.
SOUTH LENOIR (17-9)
Devon Koonce 0 0 0-0 0, Trez Mitchell 2 0 1-2 5, Scott Brown 0 0 2-2 2, Quan Outlaw 8 3 1-9 26, Alex Graham 10 1 6-9 29. TOTALS -- 20 4 10-22 62.
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