Goldsboro wins Carolina 1-A boys title
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 23, 2013 11:06 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Put us in coach.
We're ready to play.
Goldsboro's second five brought energy and intensity onto the court, sparked an 11-0 first-quarter run and Ayden-Grifton could never recover during the 2013 Carolina 1-A Conference boys' basketball tournament championship Friday evening.
Senior Damarian Henderson led a balanced offensive attack with 15 points in the Cougars' 80-36 shellacking of the third-seeded Chargers inside Kornegay Arena on the Mount Olive College campus.
"A great win for us," Goldsboro head coach Russell Stephens said. "We beat a good team tonight. The (final) score doesn't indicate how good Ayden-Grifton is. We just shot the lights out and our defense was tremendous."
So was the second five.
Henderson's old-fashioned three-point play on an offensive putback turned Ayden-Grifton's 7-6 lead into a 9-6 advantage for Goldsboro midway through the opening quarter. The second unit -- Myron Carmon, Joseph Baker, Jaylen Moore, Jamal George and Rasheed Jackson -- took over from there.
The quintet harassed the Chargers' ballhandlers, scrambled for loose balls on the floor and converted easy scoring opportunities on the offensive end.
Goldsboro's one-point lead swelled to 20-8 after one period.
"Our second unit could actually start for us because we have guys who can shoot the ball, handle the ball and they hustle every minute they're on the court," Stephens said. "When you look at a second unit going forth in the playoffs, you've got to have that because you never know when you're going to run up against a team that can score as many points as you (can).
"The thing is, we've got 10 (fresh) legs we can throw in there constantly and not lose anything."
When the starters re-entered the game, Ayden-Grifton (14-11 overall) whittled the deficit to 24-17. The Cougars reeled off seven of the next nine points and walked into halftime with a 36-25 lead.
Moore and Jackson combined for nine of Goldsboro's 21 first-half rebounds.
"Jaylen ... a sparkplug who was out-rebounding our big kids," Stephens laughed. "I got on them at halftime, we've got a 5-10 forward who's got more rebounds than anybody on the team. What's going on with the big guys?"
The Cougars' starters played more aggressive in the second half, banged the boards and grabbed a 21-point lead after three periods of play. Their advantage reached 30 points midway through the last quarter and the reserves accounted for the final margin.
Rasheen Artis and Julius Murphy knocked down 12 and 11 points, respectively, for Goldsboro, which extended its winning streak to 14 games. Lonzia Tyson collected 10 points and six rebounds.
Ayden-Grifton managed only one point on a free throw during the final 10-plus minutes of play, and missed its last 18 shots from the field.
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