Golden Falcons advance to final game
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 30, 2009 1:46 PM
KENLY -- This lead wasn't getting away.
A day after watching a 15-point lead evaporate before winning at the buzzer Charles B. Aycock appeared to have learned its lesson. The Golden Falcons forced 23 turnovers and cruised past host North Johnston 64-39 in the semifinals of the North/South Christmas Classic on Tuesday night.
Aycock (8-1) faces South Johnston in the finals at 8 p.m. tonight.
The Golden Falcons closed the first quarter on a 7-2 run and led 17-6 after the opening eight minutes. Terrance Drakeford's 3-pointer extended the margin to 27-10 midway through the second quarter and Aycock took a 28-13 lead into halftime.
"I told the guys tonight that the first couple of games of the season we were getting four and five quality minutes out of the whole team in a game," said Golden Falcons head coach David West. "Now we're up to about 15 or 20 quality minutes and our goal is 32 quality minutes. We're not close to it yet but we are improving, we need to execute a little better on offense."
Aycock began the third quarter on a 10-2 run and Brandon Winford's putback stretched the cushion to 38-15. Winford grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Tuesday night's contest marked just the third time this season the Golden Falcons have had a game decided by more than 10 points.
"It was nice to a have a fourth quarter like that and that's because the first three quarters the kids were doing what they were supposed to be doing," said West. "I thought they played with a lot of intensity. We got some turnovers and got some transition points and we benefited from them."
West was able to rely on his bench in the fourth quarter in hopes of preserving the legs of his starting five for tonight. The Aycock combined for 17 points led by Dontay Gills with seven.
"Being able to play that 1-3-1 zone on Monday night and then being able to spread it around tonight hopefully saved our legs," said West. "Then again, these are teen-agers and sometimes I don't know if you can wear them down or not."
Drakeford finished with a game-high 13 points and Isaac Ryals and Artimeus Taylor both contributed 10 points.