11/18/08 — Cherry takes over Goldsboro basketball team

View Archive

Cherry takes over Goldsboro basketball team

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 18, 2008 1:46 PM

If Chris Cherry's track record as basketball coach is any indication, the Goldsboro High men's program is in good hands.

Cherry spent the past three seasons at Southern Lee and has compiled 187 victories during his career. The Cavaliers finished 24-6 two years ago and compiled 26 wins this past season. Cherry's teams also won back-to-back regular-season and tournament crowns in Cape Fear Valley Conference play in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Southern Lee reached the regional semifinals in 2006-07 and lost to Greensboro Dudley in last year's sectional finals.

A Plymouth High School and Livingstone College graduate, Cherry served as an assistant and later the head men's basketball coach at Plymouth from 1998 to 2005. He began his coaching career as the head basketball coach at Creswell High School during the 1997-98 season.

Cherry inherits a Goldsboro program that finished 17-12 and reached the second round of N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A state playoffs under Tod Morgan a year ago. Morgan left after one season to take over the men's basketball program at Chapel Hill High School.

Senior Keovanta McDuffie, the 2007-08 News-Argus All-Area Boys Player of the Year, returns for the Cougars along with Demetrio Irby. McDuffie averaged 16.5 points and seven rebounds a year ago.

The opportunity to return to the eastern part of the state and taking over the reigns of a tradition-rich basketball program were all selling points in Cherry's decision to come to Goldsboro.

"Being from eastern North Carolina I was looking to get back to the eastern part of state," said Cherry. "There's just a pure basketball tradition here at Goldsboro. This has been a very successful place over a long period of time.

"I feel like this is a place where excellence can be continued."

Cherry ultimately hopes to install an up-tempo system into his newly-inherited squad once the remainder of his players trade in shoulder pads and helmets for basketball shoes and gym shorts.

"I like to attack you in the full court defensively," said Cherry. "Offensively I like to play the game at 94 feet and try to get a lot of possessions. I think it makes for a fun game for the kids and it's an exciting game to watch.

"I feel like with the athletes at Goldsboro High School we can play that way and be successful."

Goldsboro opens its season at home today against perennial 3-A power Rocky Mount Senior High.