NRHS boys muzzle BulldogsPublished 11:22pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013
With less than a minute to play, Nansemond River senior forward Ed Drew put the ball in the hoop to give the Warriors their first lead of the game against host King’s Fork on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs were not able to recover, ending their 10-game winning streak with a 50-47 heartbreaker against their cross-town rivals.
Drew scored with 3:30 to play to bring NR within 47-46, and then senior swingman Kendric Washington hit one of two free throws to tie the game up with 1:50 remaining. Washington described how Drew’s go-ahead basket happened.
“I got the steal, threw it to Cristian (Alexander), Cristian threw it to Scott (Spencer), Scott found Ed in the short corner for the dunk/layup combo,” he said.
That made it 49-47. King’s Fork had a couple opportunities in the final minute, but could not get a basket. Then senior forward Donte’ Ralph made an aggressive move to score under the hoop and was called for an offensive foul with 10.8 seconds to go.
NR senior guard William Goodman was fouled on the ensuing possession and made one of two free throws. Bulldogs’ senior guard Shawn Williams’ three-point attempt in the final seconds missed, and Drew collected the rebound to end the game.
“We played as a team in the end, played smart with the ball, we knew how to keep the lead going, and make defensive stops,” Drew said. “That was the key to our win.”
Drew led the Warriors with 15 points, 11 rebounds and also had three blocks and two steals. Washington, who had 10 rebounds, five steals, three assists and three blocks, explained what it took to defeat the Bulldogs this time out.
“I think we just had to take our game to another level ,” he said.
“Like Kendric said, we had to step it up and play smart,” Drew added. “We knew that King’s Fork was going to come out real hot because we beat them, but even though they’re on a 10-game winning streak, all good things must come to an end soon here.”
Initially, the game looked like it might be a blowout win for the Bulldogs, as they went up 10-0 to start the first quarter.
NR head coach Ed Young had some words for his team.
“I said, ‘You know it’s a rivalry. Throw records out the window,’” he said. “‘They’re going to come at you. You got to match that, and you’re not.’”
“I think we had a great start coming out, and Nansemond River responded, which I knew they would,” KF head coach Josh Worrell said.
Young knew that his team performs well once it gets the lead, so he told his team going into the second half that “if you hang around, and get the lead in the fourth quarter, I promise you, you will not lose the game.”
Defense was a big part of what made Young’s promise golden. He pointed out that KF senior guard Rod Parrett had been averaging 13 to 14 points a game, and NR was able to hold him to five. Sophomore swingman Scott Spencer guarded senior small forward Bryon Taylor well, limiting him to four points. Bulldogs’ senior guard Jacorey Smith was held to 10 points, all in the first three quarters.
“We didn’t do a very good job executing there the last four or five minutes of the game,” Worrell said. “We missed our last seven shots, but all seven of those shots were not great shots.”
Senior guard Akanni White led the Bulldogs with 13 points to go with seven rebounds. NR’s Spencer had 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four blocks and two steals.
Young was encouraged by what he saw from his team on Tuesday.
“This game shows us we can win a low-scoring game against a good team on their floor,” he said. “So, that’s a good note for playoff time, if we’re lucky to get that far.”
The Warriors (13-2, 10-1) will host Lakeland tonight and Deep Creek on Friday. The Bulldogs (11-4, 8-3) head to Great Bridge this evening and host Western Branch on Friday.