12/05/12 — 'Phantom' horn gives Eastern Wayne girls a 2nd chance

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'Phantom' horn gives Eastern Wayne girls a 2nd chance

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 5, 2012 1:48 PM

Eastern Wayne's Tamiya Dortch toed the free throw line, bounced the ball a couple of times and misfired on a free throw attempt.

A substitute entered the game.

Then a controversial conference took place near midcourt.

One referee walked back to the scorer's table and said he heard the horn sound while Dortch attempted her first free throw. The clock keeper vehemently argued that no horn sounded.

The ref disagreed. He signaled two shots as he walked back onto the court.

"Why is she getting two shots?" the Goldsboro coaches queried.

An overflow crowd booed as Dortch sank both free throws to give the Warriors a two-possession lead with 15.9 seconds remaining in the game, and a subsequent 70-66, overtime victory in a matchup between two unbeaten teams at Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium.

Neither third-year Cougars head coach LaTina Bullock nor Warriors head coach Tyrone Wagner heard the "phantom" horn. Wagner, however, did say that one of his assistant coaches also heard the horn.

Bullock and Wagner each agreed that the game should never have reached overtime. The Cougars (3-1 overall) played sloppy and passive throughout regulation, while the Warriors (4-0) squandered a comfortable 10-point lead by slowing down the tempo.

Late in the fourth quarter, Goldsboro senior Brandy Johnson converted two free throws after Tyona Moses came up with a steal near midcourt. The Cougar defense forced a five-second count on sophomore guard Tianna Christopher, and Moses scored off Johnson's assist to put the Cougars in front 52-51 with 28.2 seconds left in regulation.

The referee walked over to the scorer's table, said too much time ran off the clock and asked the scoreboard operator to reset the clock to 30 seconds. Johnson added another free throw and Jasmine Covington sent the game into overtime with a running shot that swished nothing but net.

"We went into halftime with a 10-point lead and I told the girls that we shouldn't lose this game," Wagner said. "They chipped their way back into it and put ourselves in the situation (of overtime). We rushed to score when we didn't have to score and didn't get back on defense after a missed shot."

Consecutive baskets by Covington, who was one of four Warriors to foul out of the 2 1/2-hour affair, gave Eastern Wayne a 66-60 advantage with 65 seconds left in the extra session.

Johnson drained two free throws to make it 66-62 with 1:02 remaining, but left the game with an injury. Destini Covington's uncontested layup and Talaya Lassiter's two free throws closed the gap to 68-66 with 25.4 seconds to go.

Dortch was fouled moments later, which led to the controversial ending.

"A big break," Wagner said.

The teams combined for 63 fouls and 75 free throw attempts.

Moses, a freshman, led all scorers with 18 points. Johnson finished with 15 points, while Lassiter chipped in 13. Christopher and Elondia Grant paced Eastern Wayne with 16 and 11 points, respectively.