Goldsboro drops Southern Nash
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 14, 2010 1:47 PM
It's difficult to say what Goldsboro head coach Patrick Reynell's biggest nemesis is right now. It could be either the cold he's been fighting or finding a solution to his team's struggles against zone defenses.
The Cougars saw a 10-point halftime lead evaporate as their offense sputtered against a zone, but hung on for a 61-53 win over Southern Nash inside Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium on Monday night.
Goldsboro led 34-24 at the half, but Southern Nash's Josh Sessons knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to open the third quarter. The Firebirds trailed, 34-30.
Like they have for the majority of their non-conference schedule, the Cougars struggled to maintain an offensive rhythm against the Firebirds' zone defense in the second half.
Goldsboro missed open cutters to the lane, looked stagnant without the ball, committed 26 turnovers and appeared to be confused by the zone. Sessons' third 3-pointer of the quarter cut the margin to 40-38.
"We're still not executing offensively," said Reynell. "Eighteen first-half turnovers is not going to win us many ballgames. We're still trying to work out kinks. We're not attacking the zone smartly.
"It's no secret, go zone against Goldsboro."
With a mix of veterans from last season's team that reached the state finals and players new to the varsity level, developing chemistry while finding offenses to attack zone defenses has been a challenge for Reynell. Each opponent brings with it different personnel and a unique style, and scheme to its zone defenses.
"North Lenoir for example, has a taller zone and it's hard to simulate that in practice," said Reynell. "We're not a zone team and so when our scout team runs a 2-3 zone, they run it half-heartedly. It doesn't give our offense a very good look right now.
"We're still trying to find five guys that can play together. I guess I need to call some of my colleagues and experienced coaches."
Desmon Jackson's steal and layup tied the game at 46-46 early in the fourth quarter. Center James Williams drained a 3-pointer that gave the Cougars the lead for good at 49-46. Damarian Henderson added a pair of key putbacks down the stretch.
Goldsboro sank 5 of 6 free throws in the final 43 seconds to seal the win.
Devonte White led the Cougars with 14 points. Williams contributed 13 points, while Henderson and Moses Ramsey each had nine.
Sessons led all scorers with 18 points.
Goldsboro (4-2 overall) visits North Lenoir on Wednesday.
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