02/27/10 — Goldsboro advances to regional round

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Goldsboro advances to regional round

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 27, 2010 11:36 PM

Regardless of the outcome Rasean Brewington knew Friday night's sectional final would be his final game inside Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium.

The senior forward turned in a performance to remember as the Cougars defeated West Columbus 77-67.

Goldsboro (21-7) advanced to the Eastern Regionals for the first time since 2003.

The Cougars play on Tuesday evening at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina against an opponent to be determined.

Brewington scored a team-high 24 points and to go along with 12 rebounds. He scored 11 points during the decisive fourth quarter including Goldsboro's first six.

"I told Resean before the fourth quarter that regardless of the outcome you realize this is your last game here," said Cougars head coach Patrick Reynell. "I told him, 'this is a special place, don't go out having any regrets.' I think with his actions and his leadership and his words on the court he relayed that for me to everyone else. He's had this team on his back since the conference tournament and he did it again tonight."

Goldsboro held a 52-49 advantage entering the fourth quarter and Dominique Shipman's 3-pointer pulled the Vikings to within 58-56.

Brewington's layup pushed the Cougars' advantage to 66-61 with fewer than three minutes to play.

Marcus Walters' 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 69-65 with fewer than 90 seconds left. Demetrio Irby's layup on Goldsboro's next possession followed by Devonte White's steal and layup put the game away for the Cougars.

Hurt by West Columbus' ability to penetrate off the dribble or pass the ball out to open shooters during the first half, Goldsboro adjusted defensively after halftime.

The Cougars were able to stay in front of ball handlers while closing off passing lanes. The Vikings finished with 15 turnovers and placed just two scorers in double figures.

Chris Stephens scored a game-high 26 points and Rortel Nixon added 11.

"Everybody told me West Columbus was quick and that's an understatement," said Reynell. "You can't simulate their guards. I don't think we expected to see a team faster than us tonight. I think once we saw them in the first half we understood what they wanted to do. It just turned into those guys turning their hips and not sprinting along side of them and cutting them off at their chest. It's just executing a gameplan and believing in it."

James Williams contributed 13 points for Goldsboro and White provided 12. Irby had 11 points and Jarran Reed pitched in 10 while providing quality minutes off the bench as Williams was sidelined with three fouls in the first half.

As the Cougars' third head coach in as many years Reynell has reaped the benefits of talented group of young men he continues to insist deserve all the credit for the program's success.

"It's not going to sink in for me yet," said Reynell. "It has very little to do with me. It's these guys and the experience that they've had. I just had to put in what I wanted and they've kind of trusted me in it. I think it means a lot to the community. Football goes all the way to the Eastern Regionals this year and they're back on the map. With football this year and now basketball it means a lot to be able to come back here and have people smiling and be enjoying Goldsboro basketball again."