Goldsboro boys wrap up Carolina 1-A crown
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 10, 2010 1:46 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- It may have made fans restless, but it turned out to be a brilliant piece of coaching.
Goldsboro executed its spread offense to near perfection while melting valuable time off the clock and walked out of Spring Creek with 57-45 Carolina 1-A Conference victory on Tuesday night.
The Gators cut a 46-36 deficit to 46-41 with fewer than three minutes gone in the fourth quarter. First-year Cougars head coach Patrick Reynell quickly called a timeout, and elected to spread the floor and melt some clock.
Goldsboro shaved nearly four minutes off the clock while scoring nine unanswered points. The ploy forced Spring Creek out of its 2-3 zone defense. By the time the run was over, the Cougars led 55-41 with just over a minute to play.
Senior Demetrio Irby had all 11 of Goldsboro's points in the final quarter and finished with a team-high 19.
"We really think in this conference and a lot of teams in the East, we feel like if we can make teams go man-to-man on us and we spread the floor we feel we have a really good opportunity of using clock or getting easy baskets," said Reynell. "We were a little too anxious at times. I think we wanted the easy baskets first. But, in the last two games I've been very, very impressed with our poise in that fourth quarter."
The Cougars forced 23 turnovers and limited the Gators to one shot on most possessions. Goldsboro crashed the glass hard, and Rasean Brewington pulled down 10 rebounds to go with 14 points. James Williams added 12 rebounds.
"I felt like the first time we played, they were awesome on backside rebounding," said Reynell. "So, we talked about that before the game. That's very important, being physical on the boards. Tonight, I liked how we forced them into the trap areas that we designed, and they turned the ball over because our defense had them right there where we needed them to."
Spring Creek trailed 39-36 late in the third quarter. Baskets from Irby and Brewington along with Williams' 3-point play stretched the margin to 46-36 entering the fourth.
"I think that was a big boost for them," said Gators head coach Taylor Jones. "They got those buckets to end the third quarter and I was just trying to get to the end of the quarter. I give them the credit, they made a couple of really good plays."
John Midgette led Spring Creek with 14 points. Kenneth Freeman pitched in six points and 10 rebounds. Adam Haggerty had six points and six rebounds.
With the victory Goldsboro (15-7 overall, 9-0 CC) clinched the Carolina 1-A Conference regular season championship. The Cougars won the Eastern Plains 2-A Conference regular-season title a year ago.
"Everybody wants to beat us," said Reynell. "We just take it a game at a time. Now we're not sharing the conference and the one constant is they're very talented. They're easy to work with and they're very coachable.
"That all goes to them because the coaches have come and gone, but they've stayed and they've continued to be successful."
Goldsboro entertains Ayden-Grifton on Friday, while the Gators (7-12, 2-7) travel to North Duplin in the regular-season finales for both teams.
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