Goldsboro's Cherry earns win No. 200
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 1, 2009 2:00 AM
Close with vengeance.
Goldsboro finished both the first and second quarters on 10-0 runs and had all but sealed first-year head coach Chris Cherry's 200th career victory at halftime in a 93-75 rout of Tarboro on Friday night.
The Cougars led 54-36 at the half and never saw their lead get smaller than 12 points in the second half thanks in large part to Tyrelle Jackson's game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds.
"I've been blessed with a lot of great players," Cherry said. "When you can win 200 games in 257 attempts you've been blessed with a lot of great players. It ain't about the X's and O's it's about the Jim's and the Joe's. You've got to have some Jim's and Joe's to win in this game and I've been blessed to have some Jim's and Joe's that buy into the way I like to play and that's a testament to the kids I've had over my nine years."
Goldsboro used a 9-2 spurt in the first quarter to take a 13-7 lead on Demetrio Irby's layup. Tarboro pulled to within 15-14 on Javon Jenkins' free throws.
The Cougars used the final three minutes of the opening quarter to reel off 10 unanswered points as they took a 25-14 lead into the second.
The Vikings cut the margin to 44-36 on Markel Pettaway's 3-pointer but Goldsboro responded with its second 10-0 run. This outburst took roughly two minutes and it left Tarboro looking up at an 18-point halftime deficit.
"We just play hard," Cherry said. "We play with a lot of enthusiasm. We just try to play to the next play and we've been doing a really good job of that. We played with a lot of purpose tonight and we didn't let up. We're really starting to mature."
Defensively, the Cougars (13-6, 4-1 EPC) were tenacious all night forcing 27 Vikings turnovers including 17 in the first half. Those turnovers led to transition opportunities for the Cougars and a chance for Goldsboro to push the tempo. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around the Vikings (9-9, 2-4) were simply out of gas.
"We were very active and had active hands and feet," Cherry said. "We talked and rotated very well. The staple of this game is going to be defense. The kids love playing this way. We play really well pursuing the basketball. As the game went on the same shots Tarboro was making in the first and second quarter they started coming up short in the third and fourth quarter and I really think we wore them down."
Irby finished with 18 points and nine rebounds and Rasean Brewington also had 18.
"Jackson, Irby and Brewington played very well," Cherry said. "They played extremely hard and they got down on that backboard. Irby had nine rebounds and I thought Brewington broke their back when he made a couple of shots in the third quarter."
Pettaway led Tarboro with 26 points.
The Cougars host North Pitt on Tuesday.
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