By Junious Smith III
Kinston wasn’t satisfied with the way the first meeting turned out and rectified it Wednesday at home.
The Vikings dominated from the beginning in a 91-63 win over Goldsboro. In a battle of NCHSAA 2A powerhouses, Kinston prevailed on Jan. 9 87-79 in double overtime, but Vikings (17-3) never trailed in the rematch.
“I thought we came out locked in and did a lot of good things defensively,” Vikings coach Perry Tyndall said. “Our defense led to transition offense and we were able to set the tone early. It was a great effort and quality team win for us against a great program. (Goldsboro head coach) Jamaal Croom has a good group of guys, so it means a lot to pick up this victory. We’re going to celebrate it tonight and then get prepared for West Craven Friday.”
Kinston started the game on an 8-0 run highlighted by a steal and layup from Will London and putback from Jaquan Mosley. Goldsboro (15-3) got within 12-7 after a 3-pointer by Xavion Atkinson, but Kinston closed the quarter on a 13-2 run, including a 3-point play by Cardiaa Koonce. The intensity continued in the second quarter as Mosley had a pair of highlight dunks as Kinston pushed its lead to 45-25 at halftime.
“Off fast breaks, I’m always looking to dunk,” Mosley said after scoring all 10 of his points in the first half. “I also look to get rebounds and putbacks to help the team.”
In the third quarter, Dontrez Styles took over as Kinston maintained its advantage. The junior scored 14 of his game-high 27 in the frame and for the game added 10 rebounds and six assists.
“This one means a lot because we didn’t play as well the first time,” Styles said. “We paid more attention to detail this time around and this was a bit of a statement win for us — we’ve been working harder since the Farmville Central game.”
Kinston went up by as many as 28 points in the second half and shot 67.8 percent from the field. Isaac Parson had a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists, but said the team’s defensive effort played the biggest role.
“I felt like we did a great job defensively, were ready from the start and were able to punch them in the mouth early,” Parson said.
Chance Minott shared similar sentiments as the senior helped spearhead the defensive effort on the perimeter.
“I’m a pretty quick defender and played smart,” Minott said. “For me, the gameplan was to make sure the guards were uncomfortable.”
For Goldsboro, Croom said the team simply didn’t have it tonight.
“We didn’t show the fight we’re capable of,” Croom said. “We got off to a slow start and let Kinston dictate the tempo. They also won the physical battle tonight, and maybe we needed this. You need to come out with intensity on the road and we weren’t able to, so hopefully this will be an eye-opener. If we have the opportunity to play Kinston again, hopefully we’ll have a stronger showing.”
Koonce scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half for Kinston. For Goldsboro, Ta’Korrie Faison and Xavion Atkinson scored 19 points each with Christian Bullock adding 13.
KINSTON 91, GOLDSBORO 63
G 9 16 19 19 — 63
K 25 20 20 26 — 91
GOLDSBORO — Ta’Korrie Faison 19, Xavion Atkinson 19, Christian Bullock 13, Oates 4, McLean 4, Moore 3, Graham 1
KINSTON — Dontrez Styles 27, Cardiaa Koonce 16, Issac Parson 15, Jaquan Mosley 10, Dixon 6, London 5, Minott 4, Evans 4, Ellis 2, Poole 2
In the girls’ game, Kinston had another slow start against Goldsboro but pulled away 55-26.
The Vikings (17-3) won the first meeting 61-25 and although Goldsboro (3-13) had the advantage for more than a quarter, Kinston was able to take over.
“I think coming off last night, we could expect a bit of a letdown,” Kinston coach Christopher Bradshaw said. “After that stretch, the girls came back and did what we normally do.”
The Cougars had a 9-5 advantage late in the first after a Kaila Bell basket, taking advantage of Kinston’s 2 of 17 start from the field. The Vikings recovered with a 16-0 run, which ended with eight straight points from Anzaryia Cobb, including three baskets in the post.
“During practice I’ve been working more on sealing the defender and it definitely helped in the game,” Cobb said.
The Vikings took a 27-13 lead into halftime and continued to extend the lead, pushing it to 29 by game’s end.
“We basically did what we needed to as a team and were able to get the win tonight,” Taliyah Jones said.
Jones scored 16 points to lead all scorers while Cobb added 10. For Goldsboro, Mary Archibald had 10 points.
KINSTON 55, GOLDSBORO 26
G 9 4 7 6 — 26
K 7 20 17 11 — 55
GOLDSBORO — Mary Archibald 10, Williams 6, Bell 5, Greene 2, Barrett 2, Nelson 1
KINSTON — Taliyah Jones 16, Anzaryia Cobb 10, Powell 7, S. Jones 7, Sutton 4, Rivers 4, Dove 3, Hargett 2, Lane 2