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Bruins stumble late in loss to Cougars



Beddingfield’s Jamauris Howard (23) draws contact as he goes up for a shot between two Goldsboro defenders during a game on Friday, Feb. 2. Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times

Entering the final three minutes of Friday night’s 2-A Neuse 6 Conference contest, Beddingfield clung to a three-point lead over visiting Goldsboro.

The Bruins, who were looking to even the season series with a win, succumbed to the visitors, who scored the next 12 points to stun the home side with a 63-56 victory.



Beddingfield fell to .500 in conference play at 3-3, as it now sits at 13-6 overall after the loss, which snapped a streak of three consecutive wins.

For Goldsboro, which secured a narrow 69-67 win over the Bruins on Jan. 17, the win helped it remain unbeaten in Neuse 6 play at 6-0, as it improved to 18-2 on the season with its 13th straight win.

“I feel like our experience kicked in at the end,” Goldsboro head coach Jamaal Croom said. “They played us really tough all game, but we’re battle tested, we’ve played in these tough environments and tight situations all season long.”

Trailing 54-51, Andre Williams scored the next four points to put the Cougars in the lead for good with 2:01 remaining.

Jae’Quan Green added a score off a turnover on Beddingfield’s following possession to make it a three-point game.

Green finished the night with a game-high 20 points, followed by Amari Latham with 12 points.

“The first time against them (Beddingfield) I didn’t play because I was sick,” Green said. “It feels good to get a win over a conference team that now we don’t have to worry about for the rest of the season.

“We’re just trying to keep going so we can go for the championship.”

Beddingfield’s Asun Pender (3) goes up for a shot on the inside in front of a Goldsboro defender during a game on Friday, Feb. 2. Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times

In the ensuing moments, the home side had chances to cut the deficit back to one, or even tie the game, but were unable to convert on the offensive end.

Instead, three scores in the final minute helped Goldsboro quickly turn its lead from three points to nine.

Green, Maurice Tyler and Nyrese Williams all scored on the inside, deflating the Bruins hopes of a late comeback.

A score from Jayonta Blanchard just before the buzzer capped the scoring to bring the final margin down to seven.

“The end was frustrating, we couldn’t get layups to fall, we couldn’t knock down shots,” Beddingfield head coach Dave Elmore said.

The game started with both teams struggling to find the bottom of the net, as the score remained knotted at zero for the first three minutes and change.

After the slow start, both offenses began to heat up, trading scores before eventually finding themselves tied at 10 late in the quarter.

Goldsboro then scored the last three points of the frame on a Malik Cadet jumper followed by a free throw from Latham.

In a second quarter that seemed to have a little bit of everything, the margin remained unchanged, as the Cougars took a 30-27 lead into halftime.

The story of the second quarter, and the entire night for that matter, was the Bruins’ struggles at the foul line.

Beddingfield went 6-of-19 on free throws in the second quarter alone, finishing the game 10-of-25 at the line.

“I told the guys in the locker room, the effort was there, but those missed free throws were the difference,” Elmore said. “Those are things we can control, we work on it every day in practice, but for whatever reason we weren’t very good at it tonight.”

A bucket by Darrian Jones would help the Bruins pull to within one at 20-19 with 5:33 to play in the opening half.

On the hosts’ next possession, Jamauris Howard drew a foul on a 3-pointer, which subsequently led to a technical foul issued to Goldsboro.

With a chance to go ahead by four, Beddingfield instead only went up by a point after going 2-of-5 from the line.

The free throws were a part of a 8-0 run which helped the Bruins take a 25-20 lead.

Beddingfield’s Tysean Speight (4) drives hard into the lane as he is pressured by a pair of Goldsboro defenders during a game on Friday, Feb. 2. Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times

Late in the half, Goldsboro trailed 27-26 as it looked to get out on a fast break after grabbing a defensive rebound.

On the transition down the court, a Cougars player collided with a referee, who took a hard fall and remained down just in front of the scores table.

The play resumed on the offensive end for Goldsoboro, as it was unable to take the lead and eventually lost the ball out of bounds.

With play stopped, attention turned towards the referee, who was checked on by coaches, officials and athletic trainers before remaining in the game.

After the delay, a bit of confusion led to Goldsboro being granted possession, as it took advantage on a go-ahead bucket by Green.

Latham would later bank in a runner from the free-throw line as the buzzer sounded to send the away side into the break up by three.

The lead grew to four heading into the fourth quarter, before Beddingfield jumped back in front by scoring the first five points of the final frame before the Cougars’ 12-0 run.

GOLDSBORO (63)

Green 20, Latham 12, Tyler 8, Cadet 9, A. Williams 7, White 3, N. Williams 4.

BEDDINGFIELD (56)

Ashby 14, Pender 4, Jones 10, Speight 14, Blanchard 9, Edwards 2, Howard 3.

Score by quarters:

Goldsboro 13 17 16 17 — 63

Beddingfield 10 17 15 14 — 56

Beddingfield’s Taevon Edwards (33) shoots on the inside as he is guarded by two Goldsboro players during a game on Friday, Feb. 2. Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times