Union ends Goldsboro girls' season
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 25, 2010 1:46 PM
Goldsboro's lack of depth in the backcourt finally became too much to overcome.
Union's aggressive full-court defense forced 27 turnovers and helped the Spartans earn a 46-42, second-round victory in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A girls' basketball playoffs Wednesday evening.
The Cougars played without Zeara McDuffie for the second straight outing, and struggled to adjust to the Spartans' ball pressure and trapping defense.
"Their pressure exposed us tonight," said Goldsboro head coach Brandy Smith. "But at the same time, look at the score of the game. As much pressure as they showed and even though we didn't come out with the win tonight, we didn't lose by 20.
"They showed their youth with not being able to handle the pressure well, but at the same time they showed me the future for this program."
Courtney Graham's 3-pointer gave Union its biggest lead of the game at 33-22 more than midway through the third quarter. The Cougars refused to go away and cut the deficit to 33-27 entering the fourth quarter.
Ashley Duncan's layup pushed the margin to 41-33. but Goldsboro made one last push. Talaya Lassiter's 3-pointer pulled the Cougars to within 46-42 with 39 seconds left.
After a Spartans turnover, Akeyanna Whitlor's 3-pointer rimmed out and Summer Loverette knocked down a pair of free throws to put the game away for Union.
"I feel like there's a chance any time there's time left on the clock," said Smith, whose team finished 21-5 overall. "We had a couple of opportunities and we missed a couple of shots, and gave up a couple of turnovers right there at the end. They fought tonight and I'm proud of the fight and proud of the effort.
"Having only one senior on the floor for the last two games has shown some positive light to have people step up and being able to contribute."
Alexus Myles finished with 16 points and five rebounds for Goldsboro. Kasheika Wallace provided eight points and seven rebounds.
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