Washington’s Smith recalls winning ‘Golden’ opportunity
Published 5:03 am Friday, February 20, 2009
By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Before there was a 56-game winning streak, back-to-back state titles and a player named Dominique Wilkins, Washington legend Dave Smith coached a small crew called the Golden Tide.
It was only one season, and Smith had one only one chance, but he made the most of it and he did it with “his” players.
From 1971-72 Smith coached the Beaufort Tech Community College Golden Tide to an East Carolina Community College Conference (ECCCC) championship with a thrilling, come-from-behind 64-63 victory over then powerhouse Cape Fear Tech.
The game featured a little bit of everything: a few flashy scorers, one point guard playing with the use of one wrist, and one team wiping out a seven-point halftime deficit despite shooting a brisk 35 percent from the floor.
When you examine the 1971-72 Beaufort Tech team (which is now Beaufort Community College), the first place you look is at small forward. That’s where you would find former P.S. Jones Star Samuel Gorham.
Smith had coached Gorham at P.S. Jones, when it was a high school, and helped develop the forward into a 28-point per game scorer for a Golden Tide team that finished 14-1 and won the Northern Division and eventually the ECCCC.
The other roster spots were filled by local players from Plymouth to Chocowinity, and Smith said having guys on the team from the area made coaching the team more gratifying.
While the team may have been special, there was nothing it could do to stop Southern Division champions Cape Fear Tech in the first half of their battle.
Cape Fear was led by stars Peter Boney and Willie Myers. The duo helped Cape Fear get off to a hot start by shooting a sizzling 70 percent from the floor in the first half to take a 32-25 halftime lead at the Atlantic Christian College Gym in Wilson.
Boney led his team with 23 points, while Myers finished with 14.
In the second half the Golden Tide refused to back down despite the fact that point guard Larry Bishop had injured his wrist in the first half.
Bishop was taken to a hospital in Wilson immediately after the game.
During the game, Bishop, Gorham and the emerging Lodge helped Beaufort Tech mount its comeback.
The Golden Tide would take the lead with less then five minutes left in the game, and hold to edge out Cape Fear 64-63.
Gorham led all scorers with 26 points, while Lodge added 17 points and a fierce presence on the glass. Bishop, despite the fractured wrist, netted six points.
Smith left Tech after that season, and coach the Pam Pack the ensuing year.
Smith would go on to lead Washington High School to back-to-back state 3-A titles in the 1978 and 1979 seasons.
During that period Smith led the Pam Pack on a 56-game winning streak, which at that point was the longest in the Nation. That streak would be broken up by D.H. Conley.