Warriors prevail after sluggish start

Published 10:50pm Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Nansemond River boys’ basketball team took the long way to an 84-49 victory Wednesday in their regular season-ending finale against the heavily outmatched Hickory Hawks.

The Hawks, who came into the game with a 2-20 record (0-18 in Southeastern District play) started the game fast and hard, jumping out to a 10-4 lead over the Warriors, who seemed to lack energy and a sense of urgency when they stepped onto the court.

Even as NRHS coach Ed Young used 12 of his 14 players trying to find a group that would pick up his team’s tempo, the Hawks continued their early domination, breaking away to a 21-13 lead after the first period of play.

“Plain and simple, we had no sense of urgency and let them take the game right to us and beyond,” Young said.

“We actually led 2-0 after a Marvin Pelzer layup (Pelzer became the 14th Warrior to start a game this season in keeping with a Young tradition of giving every player an opportunity to start at least one game during the season), but that was that as the Hawks showed tremendous energy and desire to get their first district win of the season.”

The Hawks actually stretched their lead to 26-13 early in the second quarter with a wide-open three-pointer and a layup off one of the Warriors’ 18 first-half turnovers.

Young soon put in five of his reserves to try to change the disastrous tempo. The mass subbing seemed to work, and the Warriors slowly got back into the game with a tighter defense and scoring from William Goodman, who hit two threes, and Kendric Washington, who hit three consecutive in-lane jumpers.

The Warriors outscored the Hawks 21-11 in the quarter to go up 34-32 at the half.

But everything changed in the second half.

Nansemond River came out with a renewed zest and a zeal that kept all but two Hawks from finding the bottom of the net and put seven of the nine Warriors who played in the third period on the scoreboard.

Sophomore Scott Spencer hit three straight jumpers for six points, and Ed Drew hit for seven points including a 50-foot three-pointer to end the third quarter. The Hawks caught the full fury of the Warriors in the fourth quarter, scoring only three field goals on just nine shots as the Warriors forced 12 turnovers and outscored the Hawks 26-5, ending the game on a 37-7 run.

Four NRHS teammates had double-digit scoring, led by Drew, with 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots and two steals; Spencer, with 17 points and seven rebounds; Washington, with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals; and Khalil Carroll, with 13 points, eight assists and five steals.

The Warriors (16-6, 13-5) open SED tournament play Friday at King’s Fork High School, where they’ll face Indian River at 6 p.m. King’s Fork will take on Grassfield in the following game.


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