By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 2, 2009 1:46 PM
Short-handed and lucky.
Goldsboro twice erased double-digit deficits and used a double-digit run of its own to nip former Eastern Plains 2-A boys' basketball rival North Lenoir, 84-82, inside Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.
Coming off a 16-day layoff and missing players due to the football team's current playoff run, the Cougars finally presented head coach Patrick Reynell his first-ever career victory.
"I feel like we stole one," said Reynell as he sipped a bottle of water. "I told (NL) coach (Eric) Waters that we were a little lucky, and you have to have that early in the season."
Returning starters Rasean Brewington and James Williams each posted a double-double in the comeback victory. Brewington secured team highs in points (27) and rebounds (13), while Williams contributed 18 points and 11 boards.
Devonte White pumped in 14 points and dished out four assists. Point guard Michael Langston collected 11 points and three assists. Overall, seven of eight Cougars scratched in the scoring column.
Trey Harris led four Hawks in double figures with a game-high 30 points. Da'rico Jones added 16, while Maurice Morgan and Joshua Poole poured in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
North Lenoir (4-1 overall) led 44-33 at halftime and watched its advantage dwindle to 51-49 on Williams' two-handed, rim-hanging dunk after Brewington missed the back end of a two-shot foul. The teams traded field goals until White completed a game-tying, three-point play to make it 55-55.
Neither team managed more than a one-possession lead for the next 10 minutes. Brewington's two free throws created a 70-70 tie with 5:21 to go before the Hawks reeled off eight consecutive points.
Unlike their season-opening loss to Rocky Mount Prep, the Cougars (1-1) kept their poise and disrupted the Hawks' offense with a full-court trapping defense. Transition baskets came with ease and ignited a 10-0 run, capped by Williams' layup off Robert Kornegay's assist.
"We came out inspired in the second half and I think going to the press forced (more) inspiration into them, and they were aggressive," said Reynell. "That, I think, was the turning point for the game."
Goldsboro led 84-82, but turned the ball over with 9.7 seconds left. North Lenoir put the ball in Harris' hands, but his shot fell short and into Langston's open arms as time expired. Langston tossed the ball into the air and pumped both fists in jubilation as he raced back to center court to celebrate with his teammates.
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