02/18/11 — Goldsboro slows down game, eases into title contest

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Goldsboro slows down game, eases into title contest

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 18, 2011 1:47 PM

PRINCETON -- North Duplin gave Goldsboro fits for three quarters on Thursday night.

The Cougars owned the final period.

James Williams pumped in 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Goldsboro held off North Duplin 63-54 in the semifinals of the Carolina 1-A Conference boys' basketball tournament. The Cougars will battle Rosewood in the championship game at 8 p.m. today.

"We have been in a lot of games like this where it hasn't been pretty, but we were able to find a way to win," said Goldsboro head coach Patrick Reynell. "I told the guys in the locker room at halftime that North Duplin had the ballplayers to keep the game close and I don't know that they believed me.

"I think they believe me now."

The Cougars (17-6 overall) dominated the paint in the opening half as Williams and Jarran Reed scored seemingly at will and crashed the glass for offensive rebounds.

Goldsboro held a comfortable 44-29 lead at the intermission.

Unwilling to back down, the Rebels stormed back in the third quarter behind speedy point guard Devin Oliver. After three consecutive turnovers on the Goldsboro end of the court, Oliver converted the transition opportunities into points.

A 12-2 run to open the period cut the Cougars' lead to five and left Goldsboro looking for answers.

"North Duplin made some adjustments to their zone defense and we took too long to make our adjustments," said Reynell. "We took too many quick shots and gave away too many turnovers during that stretch."

A jump shot by Breyon Johnson tied the game at 50-50 just before the third quarter buzzer.

Goldsboro finally reined in its offense and slowed the pace to a crawl for the final eight minutes. Behind deliberate point guard play from Devonte White, the Cougars contentedly sat and dribbled the ball at halfcourt until a shot in the paint opened up.

An 8-0 run over a four-minute span spelled disaster for the upstart Rebels.

White and Robert Kornegay each added 10 points in the victory. Reed finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Oliver led the way for North Duplin with 25 points and seven assists. Johnson added 17 points for the Rebels. North Duplin finished the season 5-14 overall.