02/24/11 — Goldsboro - Riverside girls

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Goldsboro - Riverside girls

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 24, 2011 1:47 PM

Goldsboro head coach LaTina Bullock-Davis exited the locker room with a look of relief on her face and plenty of praise for her team.

The Cougars withstood a second half surge from Martin Riverside and pulled away late for a 57-41, second-round win in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A girls' basketball playoffs Wednesday evening.

The Knights trailed 29-10 at the half and used a 19-5 run to pull within 44-35 with five minutes left in the game. Riverside forced 14 Goldsboro turnovers in the second half.

"I just kept telling my girls they had to fight," said Bullock-Davis. "I knew that team was going to come after us. Any team that's left at this time they're going to play hard. We had to slow it down in order for us to stay ahead."

Alexus Myles scored 10 of the Cougars' final 12 points and played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls. Myles finished with a game-high 21 points. Brandy Johnson added 15 points and Kasheika Wallace had 12 points and 18 rebounds.

"Alexus did great," said Bullock-Davis. "She played smart, that's one thing I like about her. I had told Kasheika we had to control the boards tonight and she did just that. Brandy, she used her strength which is driving to the hole and finishing. I keep telling her to keep driving until they stop you."

After lacking energy in the first half of Monday night's opening-round win over Gates County, Goldsboro began Monday night's game with plenty of intensity. The Cougars outscored the Knights 16-0 in the first quarter and forced nine first-quarter turnovers.

"I told them they can't come out tonight like they came out Monday," said Bullock-Davis. "We talked about it and we discussed what we needed to do. They told me what they needed to do, and they came out and they did what needed to be done."

Goldsboro (21-4 overall) entertains Northampton-West (16-7) in the sectional finals Friday evening. Tip-off is 7 p.m.