Goldsboro escapes against Princeton
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 15, 2012 1:52 AM
Call it home court advantage.
Call it luck.
Goldsboro head coach Patrick Reynell does not care what it's called.
Reynell and the Cougars held on for a 52-51 win over Carolina 1-A Conference rival Princeton on Friday night at Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium.
"At the end of the day a win, is a win, is a win," Reynell said. "I don't think we played our best game, but we did just enough to get it done."
The victory came with it's share of controversy on both sides of the floor.
Goldsboro built a 28-23 lead at the intermission and maintained the advantage through the third quarter despite some ragged offense and costly turnovers. Princeton stormed back through the final period and earned a 51-51 tie with one minute to play.
After a failed Cougar possession, the Bulldogs grabbed the rebound and dribbled to half court. Content with getting the last shot, Princeton's guards played catch behind the 3-point arc. With 21 seconds to play, Dalvin Stancil caught a pass and stepped toward the basket as Jalen Sprueil leaned in on defense.
The pair collided and the result was an offensive foul call on Stancil and one last possession for the home team.
"That was a tough one for us because we wanted to get a good look and at worst take the game to overtime," Princeton head coach Jeff Davis said. "Instead we had to try to defend for 20 seconds."
Goldsboro inbounded the ball and ran the clock down to five seconds before Sprueil raced toward the basket from the left wing and forced up a contested shot. The ball hit the bottom of the rim, but once again a whistle rang out.
A foul on Princeton put Sprueil at the free throw line with 2.3 seconds on the clock. The guard missed the first but made the second to put the Cougars up 52-51.
Davis called timeout and set up a play. A long pass found its way to C.J. Jeffreys as he raced up the court. To Princeton fans dismay, whistles sounded yet again. The officials converged at the scorer's table and determined that a malfunction in the game clock caused the clock not to start and while the play was happening more than three seconds should have elapsed.
The officials waved off the Bulldogs' final chance and called the game complete.
"Whether it was right or wrong, I have no idea," Davis said. "You just hate to see a game end like that, especially after it had been such a well-played game by both teams."
Stancil finished the game with a game-high 16 points. Jeffreys added 12 points in the loss.
Damarian Henderson emerged the leading scorer for the Cougars with 15 points. Octavius Alston added 12 points and Julius Murphy finished with 10.
"I hate it for coach Davis and his kids because I have been around enough to know how they are feeling," Reynell said. "They played a heck of a game and there are a lot things that can swing a game one way or the other. Somtimes things fall one direction and sometimes they fall the other direction."
Goldsboro (9-5 overall, 2-0 CC) travels to Union on Monday night. Princeton (8-8, 1-2) is back in action on Jan. 20 against Ayden-Grifton.
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