Goshen powers past Straughn, 85-73

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

Sports Writer

GOSHEN – For the first three games of the early stages in the 2000-2001 season, the Goshen High School Eagles won with big scoring spurts and

a suffocating defense without any highlight reel material.

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However, the highlight reel finally got put into action Tuesday night as the Eagles put on an offensive clinic to defeat the Straughn High School Tigers 85-73 in an exciting Class 2A Area 2 showdown at Eagle Gym in front of a standing room only crowd.

The win over Straughn was the 200th career victory for GHS head basketball coach Major Lane. Lane, who is in his eighth year of coaching, has earned all 200 wins at Goshen which is a rare feat in today’s whirlwind of changes on the high school level.

Senior forward Jamar Tucker finished with his third consecutive double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Eagles (4-0, 2-0 in area play). Tucker brought the large crowd to its feet with a pair of electrifying dunks in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

The Eagles jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead before the Tigers hit their first field goal of the night. Straughn immediately went on a 9-4 run to tie the game at 10-10 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Following a timeout by Lane, the Eagles took control earning the lead for good by going on a 9-2 run highlighted by back-to-back three pointers by Averick Rogers to give the Eagles a 19-12 lead at the end of the opening period.

In the second quarter, the Tigers trimmed the lead to 26-24 until the Eagles back on track finishing the first half by going on a 17-3 run to earn a commanding 43-27 lead at intermission. The Eagles used a full court press and forced several turnovers converting them into easy baskets.

The Eagles led by as many as 19 points before the Tigers (1-2,0-1) went on a big run thanks to Tucker and Pelton picking up their fourth personal fouls to cut the lead to 11 points at 66-55 with 6:30 remaining in the game.

However, Goshen used its depth to regain control of the game as they stretched the advantage to 79-61 with three minutes remaining. The Eagles were finally able to get their patented fast break going as Tucker brought the crowd to their feat with two tremendous slams which ended Straughn’s upset bid.

Lane said the hot shooting and depth by the Eagles allowed them to overcome foul trouble throughout the second half.

"I thought until we got into foul trouble we played pretty aggressive passing the ball up the floor and looking for our shooters," Lane said. "Everybody was contributing. It’s not one or two things because we have guys coming off the bench doing positive things. As long as the kids hustle and give 110 percent, we’ll be OK."

In addition, Lane said he was proud of Pelton’s effort after hurting his back in Friday night’s win over Georgiana.

"Kendaris is an outstanding scorer who can shoot it from the outside and go to the hole," Lane said. "He’s getting the ball where he wants it. We’re fortunate to have two or three players that can go inside for us."

Pelton led all scorers with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Rogers had 21 points including 6-of-10 from three point range for the Eagles. Darius Flowers finished with 12 points as four players for Goshen finished with double figures.

Robert Oliver led Straughn with 24 points, while football sensation Derrick Florence had 19 points and Brock Bracewell finished with 20 points in a losing cause.

The Eagles finished the game with 36 rebounds. In addition, Goshen had its best night of the season at the foul line shooting 15-of-19 for 78.9 percent.

The Eagles begin a long stretch of road games beginning this Friday night when they face the winner of the Highland Home-McKenzie game in the first round of the Southeast Alabama Conference Championship Tournament. If the Eagles win, they will face the winner of the Brantley-Luverne game in Saturday’s championship game. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Luverne High School.