02/20/11 — Ayden-Grifton girls repeat as Carolina 1-A tournament champs

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Ayden-Grifton girls repeat as Carolina 1-A tournament champs

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 20, 2011 1:51 AM

PRINCETON -- History repeated itself on Friday night in Princeton.

For the second consecutive season, Ayden-Grifton upset top-seeded Goldsboro and claimed the Carolina 1-A Conference girls' basketball tournament title with a 60-54 overtime win.

Despite being behind most of the contest, the Chargers did enough to hang around until midway through the fourth quarter. A spell of poor decision making and worse free throw shooting by the Cougars spelled their demise.

"I thought we played really well for three and a half quarters," said Goldsboro head coach LaTina Bullock-Davis. "But at the end it seemed like we quit being aggressive and quit trying to attack the basket, and Ayden-Grifton took advantage."

Goldsboro had a chance to win the game in regulation.

The Cougars led 50-48 with 14 seconds to play and had the ball at the free throw line. A miss led to a Charger rebound and a fast break. Derica Jones completed the possession with the tying layup with six seconds on the clock.

Goldsboro turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, but Jones' desperation flip hit the bottom of the rim and forced overtime.

Jones helped the Chargers win the game in the extra session. The talented senior buried a jumper with 30 seconds on the clock the gave the Chargers a 56-54 advantage. She sealed the game with a steal and a layup with eight seconds to play.

"Derica was so big for us tonight as a leader," said Ayden-Grifton head coach Jeff Dufour. "All I can ask is that my seniors step up and lead the team and tonight they did that."

Charmaine Little paced the Chargers with 17 points. Jones added 16 points and six assists.

Brandy Johnson led Goldsboro with 17 points. Alexus Myles added 14 points and Talaya Lassiter finished with 11. The Cougars will play host to an opening-round game in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs Monday.

"That's what I told the girls after the game," said Bullock-Davis. "We wanted to win tonight and we are disappointed, but the good news is that there is still a tomorrow for us."