Norcom Wins One for Barney

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Tuesday night's Eastern District clash between the
class=SpellE>Norcom Greyhounds and Maury Commodores in Portsmouth had
major implications. With a win, Maury
would stay atop the league standings, two games clear of everyone with three
games to play. Meanwhile,
class=SpellE>Norcom was trying to stay in the race with a victory and
forge a tie with the Commodores.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Behind 23 points from senior guard
normal'> Trent and 17 apiece from senior swingman
normal'>James Whitaker (North Carolina A&T)
and junior Troy Locke, the
Greyhounds jumped out to the early lead and never trailed after going in front
on their way to a 65-52 victory over Maury.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Trent came out on fire with 10 points in the opening quarter,
nailing a deep three-pointer and throwing down a crowd-pleasing jam.
style=> While Maury struggled to convert at the foul
line, Norcom noticeably came out with a purpose.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's nothing special; it's just how we have to play,"
Trent noted. "We just have to come out
with intensity and keep it rolling. They
were on a 10-game winning streak and their only loss was to us and now we've
beaten them again."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the first half alone, Trent and Whitaker combined
for 27 points and 13 rebounds as Norcom was ahead by
nine and got Maury out of its comfort zone quickly, turning the ball over 11
times before intermission and missing nine of their 15 free-throws.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"When they're both rolling, we're a pretty good offensive
team," admitted Norcom Head Basketball Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Leon Goolsby after
his Greyhounds moved to 10-7 overall, 9-2 in the Eastern District.
style=> "My problem is I'm more of a defensive
guy. I don't worry about how many points
we score, I worry about how many points we give up."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Greyhounds are playing with heavy hearts the rest
of this year. Back on January 8th,
assistant coach Barney Stevenson suffered
a heart attack. He passed away nine days

players wore shirts in warm-ups with Stevenson's picture on it to honor him in
what was their first game since his death.
They are dedicating the remainder of their season to him.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This game meant a lot to us.
style=> We were certainly in a slump going through
all the adversity losing one of our coaches.
This game was really a test because they were in first, now we're tied,
so now we've got to win out, hopefully they lose and then we'll be the Eastern
District Champions," said Whitaker, who did yeoman's work on the glass with 13

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>His teammates shared those sentiments.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Every time we play, I think about my coach," added
Trent. "That's always on my mind.
style=> I go out and play for him and wish he was

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Before beating Wilson 10 days prior to the matchup at
home versus Maury, the Greyhounds were in a major tailspin.
style=> They had lost three in a row, six of eight,
including their first loss to Churchland in 22
meetings dating back to 2003.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bouncing back the way they have is a positive sign that
the Greyhounds are about to hit its stride at the right time.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The guys battled and handled adversity well throughout
the week. All we do is talk about
it. This is about life,"
class=SpellE>Goolsby added.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Life is not fair how it treats you, but it's about how
you handle adversity, and most of it is about 90% mental.
style=> Therefore, if you can handle it mentally and
not sink to the lulls that will happen to you, things at the end will be good
for you. We've been up and down and it's
been a rough season for us. It's not how
you start, but how you finish."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On the glass, Norcom had its
way with Maury. No one registered
double-digit boards for the Commodores, whereas the Greyhounds had three
players for 30 boards in Trent, Whitaker and Locke.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Getting offensive rebounds had been our weakness before
and not really defending the 3 ball like we have been doing in the past.
style=> That's what we really emphasized and I talked
to them tonight about holding them to one shot, make sure they don't get off
from the three-point line, getting out to the shooters and closing out the
lanes on penetration," remarked Goolsby.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I thought tonight we played pretty good defense.
style=> Having Troy Locke back gave us that
energy. I thought
normal'>Marques Harvey and Terrell
Camp played well, and even
normal'> Ractliff, who was struggling lately, but
somehow got his shot going to give us more balance."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Locke turned out to be an x-factor for
class=SpellE>Norcom, playing his part of closer.
style=> He had been out with a torn muscle in his
hip. On the night, Locke scored 11 of
his 17 points in the fourth period.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"All I did was just play my role, let them go off and
then I come in and finish things off," Locke said.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Falling to 16-2 overall, Maury has now lost seven
straight at Norcom.
They haven't won on the Greyhounds' home floor since December of 2005.

players are confident they can go on a run in the playoffs.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I think this sent a message to the rest of the region,"
commented the senior Whitaker on the win.
"What we went through is over and we're coming with our all every
game. It's our last go around.
style=> We have to give it our all, night in and
night out because there's no next year here for us."

href="">Postgame Audio with
class=SpellE>Norcom Head Basketball Coach Leon Goolsby


line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> 65:
Malique Trent - - 23Pts. 5-6FT, 9Reb. 3Ast. 2Stl
James Whitaker - - 17Pts. 13Reb.
Troy Locke - - 17Pts. (11Pts. 4thQ), 8-15FG, 8Reb.
P.J. Ratcliff - - 6Pts. 3-6FG, 2Ast. 2Stl.

Jalon Williams - - 14Pts. 4-9FG, 2-5 3's
Jaleel Ferguson - - 13Pts. 4-8FG, 5-9FT, 7Reb. 2Blk
Mike Basnight - - 9Pts. 3-9FG, 2-5 3's, 5Reb. 4Ast
Anthony Williams - - 6Pts. 2-5FG, 2-3FT, 2Stl.


115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> plus watch him on the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

Sign up for premium access to with a 7-day free trial!
Check out our FREE top prospect listings:
Class of 2012 |
Class of 2013 |
Class of 2014 |
Class of 2015 (Premium)
Follow all the hoops commitments via
Basketball Commitments Tracker (FREE!)
VIP Board provides the latest in recruiting updates plus in-depth top
prospects lists for football, basketball and baseball!