01/11/14 — Cougars' offense comes alive in second half

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Cougars' offense comes alive in second half

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 11, 2014 11:33 PM




It took Goldsboro one game to learn that life in the Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference won't be much different than its previous four-year stay in the Carolina 1-A Conference.

The Cougars are still going to get every opponent's best shot.

Goldsboro needed a game-ending 14-2 run to put away South Lenoir, 67-56, at Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium on Friday evening. It was the ECC opener for both teams.

Sophomore point guard Myron Carmon led the Cougars -- and all scorers -- with 28 points. Joe Baker supplied 14 points and Rasheen Artis had 13.

Junior big man Jaquan Wooten finished with a double-double, 16 points and 13 rebounds, for South Lenoir. Dominic Williams had 10 points.

The Blue Devils routinely used dribble penetration to get to the rim in the first half. They scored 23 of their 28 first-half points either inside the paint or at the free throw line.

Goldsboro (10-3, 1-0 ECC) committed 10 first-half turnovers and trailed by as many as nine points in the second quarter. Carmon's 3-pointer and Artis' free throws trimmed the deficit to 28-25 at halftime.

"Our guys were a little tight to start the game," Goldsboro head coach Russell Stephens said. "South Lenoir is a very skilled team with a big kid inside who is good for them. We weren't playing to win, we were playing not to make mistakes and Goldsboro can't play like that."

Carmon caught fire in the third quarter and knocked down four of his six 3-pointers. His 3-pointer at the buzzer extended the Cougars' lead to 49-41.

"Myron did an outstanding job," Stephens said. "He hit some big shots, going to the basket and some outside 3s. I think once he hit a couple, the momentum carried over and gave some other guys some confidence."

South Lenoir (10-2, 0-1) battled back as Goldsboro had no answer for Wooten's size on the interior. He consistently converted offensive putbacks and scored 10 of his 16 points after halftime.

Wooten's three-point play tied the game at 49-49.

The Blue Devils took their final lead, 54-53, on a Wooten free throw with fewer than four minutes to play.

Goldsboro turned up its defensive pressure which led to turnovers and transition opportunities. Baker drained a a key 3-pointer and added an offensive putback as the Cougars finished on a devastating 14-2 run.

"Joe was left open and open and I told him, 'they're disrespecting you, you've got to step up and knock it down'," Stephens said. "We were able to get the ball out and get to the basket in transition which is something we weren't doing early on."