02/11/12 — Goldsboro girls polish off 3rd straight Carolina 1-A regular-season crown

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Goldsboro girls polish off 3rd straight Carolina 1-A regular-season crown

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 11, 2012 11:07 PM

The aggressive team showed up.

And LaTina Bullock couldn't have been more happier.

Goldsboro High deflected passes, forced turnovers and controlled the boards in a dominating 59-22 victory over Ayden-Grifton inside Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium on Friday evening. The Cougars (20-2 overall) finished unbeaten in Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season play for the third consecutive season, and are the No. 1 seed for this week's league tournament.

Fourth-seeded Ayden-Grifton (7-13), the two-time defending Carolina tournament champion, faces fifth-seeded North Duplin in quarterfinal-round play Monday at Rosewood. The winner gets Goldsboro, ranked No. 6 in the latest NCpreps.com 1-A poll, in semifinal-round play on Wednesday.

"I'm speechless, very proud of them," said Bullock. "They have worked very hard and it's paid off for us this year."

Ayden-Grifton never solved Goldsboro's 2-3 zone.

The Chargers attempted to play deliberate and disciplined against the quicker Cougars, who constantly flashed into the passing lanes and created turnovers. Goldsboro induced 10 first-quarter miscues and built an eight-point advantage.

The lead swelled in the second period.

Guard Talaya Lassiter and forward Alexus Myles, one of three seniors on the team, played "pitch and catch" during the second quarter. Lassiter tossed the ball over the top of the Chargers' defense and Myles easily kissed uncontested shots off the glass. Myles tallied nine second-quarter points and led all scorers with 15.

Goldsboro led 30-5 at the break.

"We had 14 steals tonight and it was a (collective) effort from Shatoria (Exum), Brandy (Johnson) and the other young ladies playing at the top of the 2-3 zone," said Bullock. "Being more aggressive instead of laid back really benefited us tonight. Defense is what won the game for us tonight."

Exum buried 10 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter, while Lassiter contributed 10 points and five assists on the night. Senior Kasheika Wallace pulled down nine rebounds and tossed in five points.

The Cougars have won five straight regular-season conference championships and 10 overall in program history.