12/13/08 — Saints top Cougars for second time

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Saints top Cougars for second time

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 13, 2008 11:33 PM

DUDLEY -- For the second time this season, Goldsboro came up just short against county rival Southern Wayne.

The Saints used a strong third-quarter effort and fended off a late Cougar rally for a 64-62, non-conference victory on Friday evening. Southern Wayne was playing its third game in a five-day span, but showed no signs of wear and tear on the defensive end of the court.

"I told our guys after the game 'anytime you can win two out of three in five days you are playing some pretty good basketball,'" said Southern Wayne head coach Russell Stephens. "We came out and played a solid game, and got a good win."

With two minutes remaining in regulation, the game seemed well in hand with the Saints ahead 60-49.

The Cougars roared back.

Donald Lewis and Tyrelle Jackson buried back-to-back 3-pointers with 80 seconds left to go. After failed possessions by both teams, Jackson's short jumper cut the Saints' margin to 60-57.

"To our kids credit they didn't quit, they did everything that they could to get back in it," said Goldsboro head coach Chris Cherry said. "We made some big shots."

Gary Woodard sank two free throws to extend Southern Wayne's lead to 62-57. Jackson, again, answered with a driving layup that took just seven seconds off the clock.

With 12 seconds remaining, Dwight Smith sealed the Saints' victory with two free throws.

"I told Gary after he made his foul shots and I pulled him out, 'If those shots were easy everyone would make them,'" said Stephens. "But Dwight stepped up and he did the job to put the game away."

After a Cougar miss and rebound, Jackson buried a desperation 3-pointer as the final horn sounded. Jackson scored 10 points in the final 90 seconds of play.

"Tyrelle has been our most consistent scorer, and when he was in foul trouble during the third quarter it really hurt," said Cherry. "When he got his fourth, we had some guys panic and I take responsibility for that as the coach."

Jackson collected a game-high 21 points on the night to go with nine rebounds. Rasean Brewington added 16 points and Demetrio Irby rounded out Goldsboro's double-digit scorers with 11.

Smith paced Southern Wayne with 13 points. Desmond Raiford added 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. James Jones scored all of his nine points from behind the 3-point arc. Rashard Hill contributed five points and 13 rebounds.

The Saints (5-4 overall) swept the regular-season series from the Cougars, who are 2-4 against county opposition this season. Goldsboro exited with a 5-5 worksheet.

"We have to take a look at where we are and who we are going to have on the floor as we go forward," said Cherry. "At 5-5, I have to look at what's best for the program ... not only winning this year but also in the future."