Creating turnovers and proficient shooting.
That combination proved sound enough for the Goldsboro varsity girls’ basketball team on Tuesday night, as evidenced by its 80-63 victory over East Carolina 2-A Conference opponent Clinton.
The 17-point victory moved the Cougars to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
“The game went very well for us,” Goldsboro head coach Latina Bullock-Thomas said. “We played very good defense and we did a good job of moving our feet and getting steals, which we were able to convert.”
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams running up and down court trying to establish the pace of the game. Clinton had its only lead of the game when it took an early 4-2, but the Cougars quickly answered, and the score was tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter.
“I just told my girls we have to pick it up on defense,” Bullock-Thomas said. “Control the tempo of the game, make sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. We were able to push forward, and get stops on defense, which benefited us on offense.”
The Cougars opened the second quarter on an 11-4 run, and were led by Amaya Lucas and Victoria Royal, who paced Clinton in the second quarter. The duo combined to score 14 points and helped give the Cougars a 37-23 halftime lead. Lucas would finish the second quarter with eight points, while Royal scored six of her nine points in the second stanza.
Clinton struggled to keep up with the Cougars throughout most of the game. Early in the third quarter the Cougars had a 45-25 lead, Clinton managed to cut the deficit down to 57-46 by the end of the third quarter, but the Cougars went on another 11-4 to open the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach for the Dark Horses.
McKayla Roberts and Aleesha Doyette each scored 16 points, Tziah Kelly chipped in 14 points, while Mary Archibald finished with eight points and three rebounds.
Roberts was tremendous on boards. The senior forward snared a game-high 23 rebounds.
Clinton (11-4) was led by senior guard Ashlyn Williams, who finished with a game-high 39 points, and Isa Banks scored 13 points for the Dark Horses.
“They kept fighting,” Bullock-Thomas said. “I knew they would give us a run for our money, but we were able to maintain and come out on top.”
Goldsboro will travel to Wallace-Rose Hill on Friday for more East Carolina 2-A Conference action. Varsity action begins at 6:30 p.m.