02/23/12 — Goldsboro girls advance

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Goldsboro girls advance

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 23, 2012 1:48 PM

Goldsboro's balanced attack was good enough to turn back Northampton-West's two-woman show.

The Cougars had five players score in double figures and came from behind for a 72-59 win in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A girls' basketball playoffs on Wednesday night.

The number two seed, Goldsboro, will host number three seed East Columbus on Friday night. The winner advances to the eastern regional in Fayetteville.

"Tonight we played together and we played smart in the second half," Goldsboro head coach LaTina Bullock said. "We executed on the offensive end and we played better defense as the game went on."

The Cougars opened the game with an excellent offensive showing and led 17-9 after one quarter. Northampton-West battled back behind star guard Tanisha Crossen in the second quarter, and stole back both the lead and the momentum.

Crossen tore through Goldsboro's zone defense at will and scored 23 of her game-high 30 points in the first half. The Hurricanes led 38-33 at the intermission as foul trouble began to mount for both squads.

The Cougars switched gears and employed a box-and-one defense on Crossen in the second half to limit her touches. The plan worked to perfection as the Hurricanes committed costly turnovers and failed to penetrate the lane.

By the end of the third quarter, the game was back in Goldsboro's favor at 52-45.

"I didn't want to go box-and-one on Crossen, but eventually we had to," Bullock said. "We had to do the same thing last season in the playoffs and it pretty much worked the same this year."

Brandy Johnson and Shatoria Exum were each tasked at different times with slowing down Crossen and both did a capable job. Goldsboro continually pounded the ball into the paint for easy scores in the fourth quarter and sealed the game by making six-of-seven free throws in the final minute.

Alexus Myles and Talaya Lassiter each scored 17 points to lead the Cougars (25-2 overall). Kasheika Wallace added 13 points and eight rebounds. Johnson scored 11 points and Exum contributed 10 points.

Charnitria Butcher scored 17 points for the Hurricanes (19-9 overall) to go with Crossen's 30-point effort.

The teams combined for 51 turnovers and committed a total of 46 fouls in the game. Four players fouled out of the contest.