In the only game of the week for Southern Wayne, the fans inside of the Goldsboro High gym on Nov. 25 were treated to two highly intense games, both of which saw the Southern Wayne faithful chanting “Saint pride” as they stole both games in epic early-season rivalry showdowns. The Lady Saints dominated the Cougars winning 50-33 and the boys pulled it out in a shootout winning 101-95 behind David Brewers’ 29 and Jamari Leach’s 34.
It’s all about bragging rights in a rivalry game, and at least until the next matchup on Dec. 9, Southern Wayne has those rights.
Lady Saints dominate
Southern Wayne assistant coach Takisha Vann said after the Saints’ last matchup that if they started the first half like they finished the second half, Southern Wayne would have beaten North Lenoir. The Lady Saints heard the message and came out on a mission in the first quarter.
The Saints applied pressure that Goldsboro couldn’t handle, forcing the Cougars to rush their shots. Southern Wayne took advantage and jumped out to a 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter is where the Saints imposed their will and got anything that they wanted to fall. The defense remained tough only allowing Goldsboro to score six points in the entire quarter while Southern Wayne put up 19 to increase their lead to 31-11 at the half.
Southern Wayne came out a little sluggish in the third quarter but fortunately, their defense played well enough to maintain a comfortable lead. At the end of the third, Southern Wayne led 38-21. Goldsboro fought to make a comeback and got the crowd involved early on in the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t stop the Saints offense enough to prevail as Southern Wayne moved to 2-1 on the season winning 50-33.
Saints survive a shootout
The Southern Wayne and Goldsboro boy’s teams gave the crowd everything they could have asked for in a 101-95 finish that saw Southern Wayne win in the late stages. As soon as the tip-off happened, the crowd seemed to know that this was set up to be a classic showdown between two teams that finished at the top of their respective conferences last season.
It was fireworks from the very start, multiple one-pointers and several threes were shared between both teams in the first quarter, setting the stage for what would come next. It was skin tight between the two teams as Southern Wayne outscored Goldsboro in every quarter except the fourth, but never by more than five points. Fans did not have it easy either because as soon as they would cheer, they were quieted by an opposing score. At the end of three quarters, Southern Wayne held a 74-66 lead but the Cougars came charging back in the fourth, at one point tying the game at 93.
At a critical juncture in the game, Goldsboro called a timeout but it was a timeout that they didn’t have leading to David Brewer stepping up to shoot free-throws with a minute left to go. Brewer hit the free throws increasing the Southern Wayne lead to 97-93 and after a missed three, Goldsboro had no choice but to foul ultimately surrendering the win to its rival Southern Wayne in a 101-95 losing effort.
David Brewer scored only 10 points in the last game against North Lenoir but against Goldsboro, he played the best game of his career dropping 29. When asked about what changed, he stated: “I didn’t like my performance, I knew I was better and I just had to come out and put on a show.”
It was a show indeed for the Saints’ fans as Jamari Leach, who dropped 29 in the North Lenoir game on Friday, Nov. 22, finished with 34 points making it 79 total points that he has scored in the first three games of the season. Sophomore Lenier Pocknett got into the action as well finishing with 17 points and NaDaviyon Pemberton once again scored at least 10 points as he finished with 11.
There were doubts about this team that lost a handful of talent in the offseason but at least for the first three games of the season, the Saints seem to have silenced the noise.