By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 26, 2008 1:46 PM
The secret is out of the bag.
Two games into its 2008-09 campaign, the Charles B. Aycock boys' basketball team is 2-0 overall and one win away from equaling its season total for victories a year ago.
The Golden Falcons built a 17-point halftime lead, endured a 21-5 third-quarter run by Goldsboro and held on for a 79-73 road win on Tuesday evening.
"Over the last two years, from an 0-25 season and three wins last year, these kids have been through quite a bit as far as seeing leads evaporate and seeing whatever could happen to them, happen to them," said Aycock head coach David West. "They really matured and learned from that, and it really showed itself tonight."
Keovanta McDuffie's layup gave the Cougars (0-3) the lead at 52-50 early in the fourth quarter. It was Goldsboro's first lead since the opening moments of the ballgame.
McDuffie, who finished with a game-high 27 points, including 21 in the third quarter, left with just over six minutes to play after re-injuring a knee he tweaked last week. He didn't return.
"We're playing with a mash unit," said Cougars head coach Chris Cherry. "It's just like any sport if you lose your best player, things are going to fall apart. Even after that happened, we tied it a couple of times and had a couple of shots for the lead. It's all part of the game."
Issac Ryals led Aycock with 18 points and knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers in the final quarter that stretched the Golden Falcons' advantage to 62-58.
James Williams' jumper trimmed the deficit to 72-68 with just over a minute remaining, but Melonza Hayes buried a 3 from the right wing and Goldsboro's comeback hopes in the process. Hayes scored 10 points, Brandon Winford added 15 and Jonathan Williams provided 11.
"Even though we lost that lead our guys never got down on themselves and that's a trait of our team this year," said West. "They kept working hard. We had taken a lot of bad shots and we started taking some better shots and we started protecting the ball more.
"That kind of bad stuff has to happen to us to let us understand how to play good basketball."
The Golden Falcons led 36-19 at the half before the Cougars opened the third quarter on a 21-5 run. McDuffie sank a 3-pointer and five jumpers during that stretch.
"The kids did it on their own pretty much," said Cherry. "They decided they were going to play with some pride in the second half and they gave it all they had. I was just proud of the effort."
Goldsboro went over four minutes without scoring during the second quarter as Aycock turned a 16-10 lead into a 36-19 cushion at the break.
Resean Brewington scored 18 points for the Cougars, who host Rocky Mount Prep at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The Golden Falcons face Wilmington Laney at 2 p.m. on Friday at Goldsboro High School.
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