Golden Demeons' early run puts Goldsboro on its heels
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 6, 2007 3:34 PM
"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely."
Goldsboro men's basketball coach Tod Morgan and counterpart, women's coach Brandy Smith, hope the same holds true for their respective teams against a demanding non-conference schedule.
Facing a quality opponent for the second time in 24 hours, the Cougar varsities suffered setbacks on Wednesday evening. Junior Jeremy Atkinson sizzled the nets for a game-high 39 points as Wilson Fike prevailed 79-62 in the men's game.
Goldsboro raced to a 10-point, first-quarter lead in the girls' game. But the Golden Demons showed their resiliency and dominated the second half en route to a 69-50 win.
Five Cougar turnovers helped Fike seize a 15-2 advantage less than four minutes into the opening period. The Cougars used a 12-6 spurt to pull within 21-14 as the quarter ended.
Goldsboro (3-3 overall) had a pair of chances to tie or take the lead in the second quarter, but was unable to convert on either. Using an array of full-court presses defensively, while pushing the tempo on offense, the Demons scored eight of the final 13 points to lead 40-33 at halftime.
"Getting a bad start and having them jump out on us, I was proud of our guys for fighting back and not having them hang their heads," Morgan said. "I think a basket here or there (to tie or take the lead) really would have given us a boost."
Atkinson scored 25 second-half points, while the Cougars struggled to find an answer on the interior.
"Sometimes he looked like a man among boys out there," Morgan said of Atkinson. "He's a very good player. I thought (he) was the difference. We really didn't have an answer for him tonight."
The lead grew to 56-39 in the third quarter as Goldsboro was outscored 16-9 during the period.
Trailing 56-42 to open the final quarter, the Cougars began to chip away. Demetrio Irby opened the final eight minutes with a 3-pointer. After a Demons' turnover, Irby was fouled and sank a pair of free throws. His layup on Goldsboro's next possession closed the gap to 56-49.
"Even down the stretch, when we made our run and cut the lead again in the fourth, I was just proud of the fact that we didn't quit and give up the whole way," Morgan said.
From there, Atkinson rattled off 13 points before fouling out, and the lead was back to 67-53.
Goldsboro cut the margin to 69-60 with less than a minute and half to play. However, the Cougars were forced to foul and Fike sank 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch to the seal the win.
Irby led Goldsboro with 17 points, and Keovanta McDuffie added 14.
"We're playing all 3-A schools in our non-conference," Morgan said. "When you play Eastern Wayne, Southern Wayne, C.B. Aycock, Western Harnett, Fike and Rocky Mount, it's tough competition, but it has to make you better for conference play.
"I'm pleased with where we are. I think we still have some work to do, in terms of developing some depth and defensively we still have some lapses."
Goldsboro needed less than four minutes to open a 12-2 lead on Fike in the girls' game. Victoria Williams had all six of her points during that stretch as the Cougars penetrated the lane at will on offense and smothered the Golden Demons with an aggressive defense.
From that point on, the Cougars went from being aggressors to reactors. Fike closed the quarter n a 10-4 run and trailed just 16-12 after the first eight minutes.
Jameka Thompson's jumper in the early stages of the second quarter tied the ballgame at 18-18. Fike closed the half with eight unanswered points, including Tramicka James' long 3-pointer at the buzzer, which gave the Demons a 36-28 lead.
"After we got up 10, our intensity dropped, and (Fike's) picked up and it just stayed that way," Smith said. "We played a decent team tonight. I know the things that we need to work on, especially when we know we're going to meet teams later on down the road like that."
The game was stopped with 1:19 remaining in the fourth quarter after Goldsboro's Zeara McDuffie had to be taken from the court on a stretcher after she appeared to hit her head on the floor while going after a loose ball.
McDuffie and Danielle Irby each finished with 12 points for the Cougars.
Goldsboro will play host to Charles B. Aycock on Friday.
Wilson Fike 21 19 16 23 -- 79
Goldsboro 14 19 9 20 -- 62
Jeremy Atkinson 12 0 15-17 39, Roger Silver 3 0 2-2 8, Joshua Foster 1 0 3-6 5; Jerrel Williams 6 0 2-4 14, Darrius Parker 1 0 1-1 3, R.J. Branch 1 0 8-10 10. TOTALS -- 24 0 31-40 79.
Keovanta McDuffie 4 2 0-0 14, Donald Lewis 0 1 0-0 3, Tavon Murchison 2 0 2-3 6, Iveon Sprangle 0 1 0-0 3; Doshamora Simms 3 0 0-0 6, Demetrio Irby 3 3 2-3 17, Tim Hobbs 4 0 1-6 9, Aric Sinclair 2 0 0-0 4. TOTALS -- 18 7 5-12 62.
Wilson Fike 12 24 20 13 -- 69
Goldsboro 16 12 8 14 -- 50
Talaya Hall 1 0 5-6 7, Tramicka James 4 1 2-4 13, Lindsey Orr 3 0 0-0 6, Ciara Perry 2 0 4-5 8, Leslie Finch 3 0 0-2 6, Meredith Pruden 1 0 0-0 2, Jameka Thompson 7 0 0-2 14, Briana Virgil 6 1-1 13. TOTALS -- 27 1 12-20 69.
Zeara McDuffie 2 0 8-14 12, Ki'ana Williams 5 0 0-0 10, Danielle Irby 5 2-3 12, Millicent Kornegay 5 0 0-0 10, Victoria Williams 2 2-4 6, Lakiyah Campbell 0 0 0-3 0. TOTALS -- 19 0 12-24 50.
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