Goldsboro showed composure when it mattered most in its season opener against Midway
Down 48-43 midway through the third quarter, Goldsboro used a 22-0 run to roll past the Raiders 79-61 on Friday night.
Xavion Atkinson led the Cougars with 35 points. Jaikir Fowler supplied 15 points, while Deontae Hooker and Justice Wooten both scored six points.
“Our team is completely different this year. We have three guys returning, but everybody else is new,” Goldsboro head coach Jamal Croom said. “I knew we were going to have some growing pains early, but I’m proud of what I saw.
“I challenged Xavion to show that he’s one of the top guys in the state, and we’re only going to go as far as he takes us, and I like what I saw from him tonight.”
It took a bit of time for the Cougars to start rolling, and Midway jumped out to a 19-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Goldsboro started to seize the momentum in the second quarter, and the Cougars held a 36-35 lead at halftime.
“It’s the first the game, and we haven’t played organized basketball since our playoff loss last year, so I expected us to come a little sluggish,” Croom said. “Gradually, throughout the game, we got better, and those jitters went away.
“We played through our mistakes, and we corrected things at the right time.”
The Raiders took a 48-43 lead midway through the third quarter on Mickeal Barrow’s three-point play.
However, from that point on, it was all downhill for Midway as Goldsboro went on a 22-0 run, and all the Raiders could do was watch.
The Cougars’ lead reached its largest margin at 74-48 on Justin Taylor’s free throw early in the fourth quarter.
“We got a good spark off the bench from Myron Miller and Deontae Hooker,” Croom said. “They came in and gave us great energy, and that’s we needed to spark that run.”
Midway was never able to significantly cut into the deficit during the final quarter, and the Cougars cruised to their first win of the season.