Goldsboro explods with 43-point fourth quarter
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 4, 2009 1:46 PM
North Pitt played a tantalizing game of "catch me if you can" for three quarters Tuesday evening.
Goldsboro caught up with a phenomenal 43-point, fourth-quarter performance.
Rasean Brewington poured in 12 of his career-high 24 points during that stretch as the Cougars clawed their way to a come-from-behind, 85-72 victory and claimed a regular-season sweep of the Panthers.
Goldsboro (14-6 overall) triumphed for the 10th time in its last 11 outings and remained tied with North Lenoir atop the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference standings at 5-1. The teams meet Friday in Wheat Swamp.
"A great will to win," said Goldsboro coach Chris Cherry.
For 24 minutes, the Panthers converted high-percentage shots in transition against the Cougars' full-court press. Goldsboro committed too many turnovers and couldn't defend downcourt after missing shots.
"We missed too many shots and couldn't get into our press, which they adjusted to from first game and hit us on some long stuff (downcourt)," said Cherry. "Things didn't go our way ... didn't play great the first half. We missed free throws, but to our credit, in the fourth quarter the kids decided it was time to win the basketball game."
North Pitt twice held double-digit leads in the second half, including a 50-40 advantage with less than 30 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Cougars roared back.
Within 72 seconds, Brewington and Michael Langston combined for 10 points and Goldsboro trailed 52-51. Lewis' second 3-pointer of the period gave the Cougars their first lead at 54-52, but the Panthers answered with a 10-0 run as Cherry's squad misfired on four consecutive possessions.
"In the fourth quarter, it's like we want to out-score somebody once we've got the lead," said North Pitt coach Mark Carson. "We've got to learn to play defense first when you have a lead and settle down."
Brewington's 3-pointer off Lewis' assist and Tyrelle Jackson's old-fashioned three-point play closed the gap to 62-60. Jackson scored off an incredible save by Demetrio Irby, who grabbed an offensive rebound and flipped it behind his back to Jackson as he sailed out of bounds.
Lewis and Brewington combined for the next eight points as Goldsboro forged ahead 66-65. Irby factored into four consecutive possessions with two blocked shots, a steal and four free throws as the Cougars seized control.
Irby finished with 16 points, including a perfect 8 of 8 at the free throw line.
"I'm really proud of Irby's effort," said Cherry. "He didn't make a lot of shots, but he rebounded the basketball and blocked shots. I always tell the kids you find out the true character of a player when you're not making shots.
"He found some other way to help us."
Jackson added 24 points and Lewis provided 10 points for the Cougars, who have won 14 of their last 17 games since an 0-3 start due to an elongated football season.
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