02/26/11 — Goldsboro bests Northhampton West Girls

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Goldsboro bests Northhampton West Girls

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 26, 2011 11:31 PM

With its season hanging in the balance, Goldsboro turned to its leaders to take it across the finish line.

Kasheika Wallace, Alexus Myles, Brandi Johnson and Talaya Lassiter led a fourth-quarter charge and the Cougars stormed past Northampton-West 64-45 on Friday night in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state playoffs.

Goldsboro advanced to the regionals for the first time since 2005 and faces Southside (22-3) on Tuesday in Fayetteville.

Tashandelyn Lashley's layup pulled the Hurricanes to within 46-42 with a little more than four minutes left in the game. Wallace, Myles, Johnson and Lassiter spearheaded an 18-3 Goldsboro run to finish the game. The four Cougars combined to score 14 of Goldsboro's final 18 points, and 22 of their 26 fourth-quarter points.

Johnson scored a team-high 19 points and Wallace contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds. Lassiter supplied 10 points and Myles had eight points. For the second consecutive game, Myles played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls without fouling out.

"They stepped up and handled the basketball," said Cougars' head coach LaTina Bullock Davis. "For Alexus to go back in and play with four fouls and Jolan Williams also had four fouls, they came through for their team. I think Kasheika is realizing that crashing the boards is one of her responsibilites on the team. She's really done an awesome job."

Bullock-Davis switched to a box-and-one defense in the second half to apply pressure to Northampton-West point guard Tanisha Crossen. The result was eight fourth-quarter turnovers by the Hurricanes which led to transition points for Goldsboro. The Hurricanes were outscored 26-10 in the fourth quarter and scored just three points over the final 4 1/2 minutes.

Lashley led Northampton-West with a game-high 24 points.

"I realized that was their offense and (Crossen) got their offense started," said Bullock-Davis. "Once I put a box-and-one on her that worked in our favor. Once I was able to shut her down their offense couldn't score. That led us to be able to get turnovers and fast-break baskets."

Bullock-Davis inherited a Cougars' squad from former head coach Brandy Smith, that went 18-5 last season and lost to Union in the first round of the state playoffs. Goldsboro (22-4) has just two seniors on its roster, and starts three sophomores and a pair of juniors.

The Cougars have won 15 of their last 16 games and continue to exceed Bullock-Davis' expectations.

"I'm really proud of each and every one of those girls," said Bullock-Davis. "They have really bloomed this season. Words cannot express how I feel. I wouldn't trade places with anybody in the world right now."