Warriors conquer LHSPublished 9:24pm Wednesday, December 5, 2012
In the eyes of Nansemond River High School head coach Ed Young, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times for his team on Tuesday.
In the Warriors’ second consecutive cross-town showdown, the 2-0 team traveled to play the 4-0 Lakeland Cavaliers. The contest was close through the first three quarters, until the more experienced Warriors pulled away in the fourth for a 73-55 victory.
“This game we didn’t out-score them in the first half like we did the last two, but the second half we outscored them 43-24,” Young said. “Unbelievable. We’re a tale of two halves.”
Nansemond River led 15-11 after a hotly contested first quarter. Lakeland took a 27-26 advantage late in the second. The Warriors took it right back, but first-half scoring ended with a three-pointer by Lakeland senior guard Antonio Jefferson, tying the game at 30.
Young said his team was playing Lakeland’s game and lacked defensive discipline in the first half.
“At halftime, as bad as we played, I said, ‘It’s 0-0,’ because it was 30-30,” Young said. “And in that last part of the second quarter, they went 4-of-5 on shooting. They had momentum. But we limited field goals in the second half.”
Each time Lakeland made a charge, Nansemond River responded. The Cavaliers tied it at 34 and again at 42. A Jefferson free throw put Lakeland ahead 43-42 with less than a minute to go in the third, but it was the last lead the Cavaliers held.
The Warriors began to take over in the fourth on superb play from junior guard Devon Oakley and senior forward Ed Drew. Oakley both scored and found Drew under the basket for important field goals that blew the game open.
“We recognized our strength — our strength is our inside game,” Young said. “I think Lakeland has a very good inside game, but they’re younger. So I felt we got to use experience over their youth, get the ball inside.”
Oakley explained his partnership with Drew in the fourth quarter.
“He was just posting up, I saw him, I was giving him the ball because he had (advantages) down there, so it just kept working,” he said.
Oakley had a sensational stat line, recording 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists, five steals, three blocks and six defensive deflections.
Drew ended up with 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks; Spencer had 14 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, and three blocks; and senior forward/guard Kendric Washington contributed 12 rebounds with four assists, four steals and four blocks.
Lakeland head coach Clint Wright said mistakes, fatigue and failure to stick to the game plan contributed to the loss. He also thought the team’s reaction to the crowd may have been detrimental.
“I think they got a little too caught up in being entertainers,” he said.
Far from feeling despair at his team’s first loss this winter, though, Wright was ready to spring forward to the next practice, because he knew the problems were correctable.
Senior guard Dexter Davis led the Cavs with 15 points, while senior guard Samson Worrell and Jefferson had 10 apiece.
On Friday, the Warriors (3-0, 3-0) will play at Deep Creek and Lakeland (4-1, 2-1) will remain at home to play Great Bridge.