02/24/09 — Goldsboro advances to round two

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Goldsboro advances to round two

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 24, 2009 1:47 PM

Regardless of his performance on the court, the message to Goldsboro senior guard Donald Lewis from his coaches has been the same all season -- just keep shooting.

Despite having his jump shot and his confidence come and go at times, Lewis took those words to heart on Monday evening. He scored a season-high 24 points and lifted the Cougars past Winston-Salem Atkins 86-63 in their first-round, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A playoff game.

Top-seeded Goldsboro (19-8 overall) entertains Pittsboro Northwood (16-5) on Wednesday. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Cougar Gymnasium.

Lewis scored 15 points in the first half and hit four of his seven 3-pointers during the first two quarters to force the Camels out of their 2-3 zone defense.

The Cougars finished the first period on a 9-4 run and Lewis' three-point play gave Goldsboro a 25-20 lead after the first eight minutes.

"My coaches just keep telling me to shoot and if it doesn't fall to just keep shooting," said Lewis. "On my first 3 that I made I felt like I was going to have a good night so I kept shooting. I thought I wasn't going to get any more good shots when they went man-to-man, but I continued to stay with.

"I just kept shooting the ball and it kept going in."

Atkins struggled to get stops in its man-to-man defense while the Cougars took advantage of the opportunity to penetrate to the basket. Layups from Michael Langston, Rasean Brewington and Demetrio Irby helped Goldsboro take a 42-33 advantage into halftime.

Cougars forward James Williams picked up his third and fourth fouls early in the third quarter, and Brewington was saddled with his third personal.

The taller Camels appeared to be given new life until Goldsboro reeled off a 17-4, back-breaking run that lasted less than four minutes. The Cougars led 61-41.

Atkins pulled to within 72-58 midway through the fourth quarter, but Lewis knocked down his final two 3-pointers off the evening. Brewington and Tyrelle Jackson each added three-point plays to finish off the Camels.

"My confidence really went up today," said Lewis. "If you just continue to shoot the ball, good things will happen."

Goldsboro forced 29 turnovers with relentless full-court defense and got a balanced scoring attack. Jackson finished with 23 points, while Brewington added 17 and Irby had 11. Jackson grabbed 10 rebounds and Lewis recorded five steals. Irby provided four blocks and three assists.

"I thought the press was the key to the game," said Cougars head coach Chris Cherry. "We did a good job of keeping the ball in front of us and coming back to trap the basketball. With the lack of size that we have, that's going to be the key to the games and getting the game going up and down."