02/15/14 — Goldsboro takes care of business in final 2 ECC games

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Goldsboro takes care of business in final 2 ECC games

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 15, 2014 11:13 PM


Goldsboro took care of business Saturday evening and earned an opening-round bye in the Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference boys' basketball tournament as its reward.

Joseph Baker posted a double-double -- 14 points, 13 rebounds -- during the Cougars' 72-50 victory over Greene Central inside historic Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium. They secured the No. 2 seed and automatically advanced to the semifinals of the Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference tournament, which begins Tuesday.

The Cougars (15-7 overall, 6-4 ECC) play the winner of the South Lenoir-Greene Central game Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Regular-season champion Kinston opposes either North Lenoir or Ayden-Grifton in the other semifinal-round game the same night.

"Good, good, good," second-year GHS head coach Russell Stephens said. "That's what we were looking for (tonight). We had to have a win, we didn't want to put it (our fate) in anyone else's hands. We took care of business."

The Cougars drained five 3-pointers during a 25-point, opening-quarter outburst. The outside shots pressured the Rams' defense, which allowed Rasheen Artis to get cranked up in the transition game.

Goldsboro led 37-22 at halftime and steadily increased its advantage throughout the second half.

"It wasn't our best basketball," Stephens said. "We did keep our composure. We were able to clear the bench and get everybody in the game on senior night, which was good."

Artis led the Cougars with 18 points, while Jayln Moore added 12 points. Tyrique Tyson pulled down 14 rebounds and collected eight points for Goldsboro, which completed its regular-season sweep of the Rams.

One night earlier, Goldsboro cruised past North Lenoir, 64-54.

"Coming off not practicing all week, a game like this can scare you," Stephens said. "Tonight, we stuck to the gameplan. We didn't get rattled. I told the guys we were going to have to be patient against their zone."

The Cougars led 41-25 after three quarters and watched the Hawks pull to within 41-33 on consecutive baskets from Mitch Bryant and John Carlton's offensive putback.

Jayln Moore recorded two offensive putbacks, including the second which resulted in an old-fashioned three-point play. The Hawks never recovered as Artis sealed the outcome by hitting 11 consecutive free throws.

Artis finished with 17 points, while Carmon drained 19. Moore provided nine of his 11 points in the second half, while Rasheed Jackson supplied 10 points.

"When we got the lead, they had to come out and guard us, and we're very good with our guard sin the middle of the court," Stephens said. "If it's not broke, there is no need to try to fix things. If they can't stop what you're doing, you stick with it all night."