03/03/11 — Goldsboro - Southside

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Goldsboro - Southside

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 3, 2011 1:47 PM

FAYETTEVILLE -- Goldsboro's transition game was poetry in motion Wednesday evening.

Long downcourt passes led to easy scoring opportunities and a resounding 69-33 triumph over Chocowinity Southside in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A eastern girls' basketball regional at Crown Arena.

The Cougars (23-4 overall) oppose No. 5-ranked Southwest Onslow in the regional final Saturday at noon. The winner advances to the state championship March 10 at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.

Junior forward Kasheika Wallace posted a double-double -- 19 points, 16 rebounds -- for Goldsboro, which prevailed for the 17th time in its last 18 outings. Brandy Johnson contributed 12 points and 10 assists, while Talaya Lassiter provided nine points, four assists and three rebounds.

"They came out ready to play, was on top of their game tonight and the intensity was there," said Cougars head coach Latina Bullock-Davis. "The momentum was there and that's what carried us out to the end."

Goldsboro looked shaky early.

No. 6-ranked Southside hit its first three shots from the floor, including 3-pointers from leading scorer Katisha Hyman and Chante Painter. The Seahawks (22-4) wouldn't convert another field goal for the next 18 1/2 minutes in the semifinal affair.

The Cougars solved Seahawks' full-court, man-to-man pressure by throwing long passes downcourt. Wallace and Alexus Myles feasted on the strategy, and scored easy layups in transition that ignited a monster 29-4 run during the remainder of the opening half.

Southside also committed 15 turnovers in that span.

"The transition game was wonderful," said Bullock-Davis. "They got the rebounds out, Sheika was crashing the boards and I compare Lexi to a cheetah. She's going to run that floor and she was looking for the ball (tonight).

"(The guards) recognized different defenses, attacked the basket and we went to our strong suit -- our inside game. We had a size advantage and we just dominated inside whenever the ball got in there."

Johnson, Lassiter and Jolan Williams combined for 19 assists. Goldsboro owned a decisive 43-24 edge on the glass, and shot 54 percent from the floor for the game.

"They a very good team, tall team, deceptively quick," said Southside head coach Bill Lake. "We just had a hard time figuring out what to do. We had a lot of problems tonight."

The Seahawks played the Cougars 4-on-4 much of the night. Bullock-Davis called for a box-and-one on Hyman, and Johnson and Shatoria Exum shared the assignment of defending the explosive guard.

Hyman scored just 11 points.

"I wasn't going to do a box-and-one at first," said Bullock-Davis. "Then I changed my mind and realized in order for us to shut them down totally, we had to do a box-and-one on 22 (Hyman). We ran the box-and-one great, not having practiced on it that much."