01/27/08 — Goldsboro boys dealt first EPC loss of season

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Goldsboro boys dealt first EPC loss of season

Published in Sports on January 27, 2008 2:01 AM


Courtesy of Kinston Free Press

LaGRANGE -- The Goldsboro boys' basketball team rallied from 18 points down in the early moments of the third quarter to tie the game at 47-47 at North Lenoir on Friday.

But that's when the Cougars' offense ground to a halt. Goldsboro didn't score a point on its first 11 possessions of the fourth quarter on its way to a 70-60, Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference loss in Wheat Swamp.

"We just ran out of gas," Goldsboro coach Tod Morgan said. "We didn't have a good night tonight. We'll have a better night another night."

North Lenoir (10-8 overall, 2-2 EPC) dominated the game early, jumping out to a 12-4 lead with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter. Goldsboro surged back to within four points at 14-10 2 minutes later, but the Hawks turned the jets on, outscoring the Cougars (11-7, 3-1) 21-10 over the balance of the first half.

The Hawks pushed their lead to 18 points at 40-22 on a 3-pointer from Tyler Potter before the Cougars began their comeback. Goldsboro closed the quarter on a 25-7 run to tie the game at 47-47.

But the Hawks increased their defensive pressure. By the time the Cougars finally scored -- on two free throws from Keovanta McDuffie with 2:53 left in the game -- North Lenoir had basically sealed the game with a 13-0 run.

"We just didn't come ready to play tonight," Morgan said. "I have to give North Lenoir credit. Our spark was great in the third quarter, but we used it all up."

Despite the loss, Morgan said he was proud of his team for not giving up.

"We talked about playing with Cougar pride and getting after it defensively," Morgan said. "I'm real proud of our guys for coming back, because the effort was there."

North Lenoir coach John Eric Waters said it was vital for his Hawks not to give up the lead in the fourth quarter.

"It was real important that they didn't take the lead," Waters said. "Basketball is a game of spurts. We spurted early and then held them off on theirs."

Goldsboro was led by 15 points from Demetrious Irby, 14 from McDuffie and 13 from Doshamora Sims.

The Hawks were paced by 16 points from Roberts, including eight in the fourth quarter, when North Lenoir needed them the most. The senior also had five of his team-high 12 rebounds in the fourth quarter.

"That was a big effort," Waters said of Roberts. "We've always said that Tim should be our No. 1 go-to guy. He proved that tonight. He's capable of taking a game over at any time."

Potter added 15 points for the Hawks, including three 3-pointers. Juel Bizzell had 12 points for North Lenoir, which travels to Greene Central on Tuesday. Goldsboro is the guest of league-leading Farmville Central.