Three Suffolk teams move ahead

Published 11:28pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Suffolk continues to be well represented in high school basketball tournaments tonight, with tree teams from two schools making appearances in their bids to bring home state championships.

King’s Fork freshman guard Deshaun Wethington has come up big for the Bulldogs in their last two games. He should have more opportunities tonight when King’s Fork plays Norcom in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Region tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
King’s Fork freshman guard Deshaun Wethington has come up big for the Bulldogs in their last two games. He should have more opportunities tonight when King’s Fork plays Norcom in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Region tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

King’s Fork High School is sending its boys and girls teams to the Norfolk Scope Arena tonight to compete in the second round of the Southeastern District Tournament, and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s girls’ basketball team is set to take on Cape Henry at 5:30 p.m. at Hampton Roads Academy in the semifinals of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament.

King’s Fork (22-4) vs. Norcom (17-7), 8 p.m. at the Norfolk Scope Arena

Bulldogs head coach Josh Worrell noted at the end of the regular season that on the way to his team’s 18-4 record at the time, it could have lost some of the games it won and it had opportunities to win some of the games it lost. However, he put one game in an outside category – his team’s Dec. 1 meeting against Norcom. He said that Norcom just flat-out beat the Bulldogs.

A lot of time has passed since that game, and on Thursday, King’s Fork will have a rematch in the Eastern Region tournament after Monday’s 55-50 defeat of Green Run in the opening round.

“It’s going to be a tough game against a very athletic group, sort of like we played the other day,” Worrell said, alluding to Green Run.

“Fortunately, again, it’s a team we played earlier in the year. We lost 79-70. We gave up 50 points to them in the first half the first time we played them, so hopefully our defense has gotten a lot better, given the fact that we gave up 50 points in the whole game the other night. So, I think we’ve gotten better, but throughout the year, they’ve gotten better, as well. So, it’s going to be an interesting game of which team is going to want it more.”

The two teams have a long history and are very familiar with each other, Worrell said.

“We’ve had a good rivalry with Norcom since our school has opened, playing them almost every year, and they play in our summer league,” he said. “So, their kids know our kids, we know their kids.”

King’s Fork (23-3) vs. Lake Taylor (25-0), 4 p.m. at the Norfolk Scope Arena

Lady Bulldogs head coach Maurice Fofana is not intimidated by the Lady Titans’ undefeated record and said that everyone who is still playing in the second round of the Eastern Region tourney is simply 1-0.

King's Fork senior wing Adrieanna McCrary is a key player for the Lady Bulldogs off the bench, but she will continue to play an even bigger role today if she must start again in place of injured senior shooting guard Shaikeyla Jordan. King's Fork faces Lake Taylor in the second round of the regional tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
King’s Fork senior wing Adrieanna McCrary is a key player for the Lady Bulldogs off the bench, but she will continue to play an even bigger role today if she must start again in place of injured senior shooting guard Shaikeyla Jordan.

“What they’ve done in the previous season or up to this point really means nothing for us,” he said. “We’ll just take it as another game, and that’s the way we’ll go about it.”

Fofana described Lake Taylor as “an all-out pressure team.”

“They’re going to apply plenty of pressure through every aspect of the game that they want to apply pressure,” he said. “So, that’s the biggest thing. If you beat that pressure, you pretty much beat them.”

He also does not expect the big stage of Scope to be a factor.

“Last year we were here at the same spot,” he said. “This year, we had an opportunity to go down to Myrtle Beach and played in sort of a same kind of venue — bigger floors, arena-type basketball where the roll-out baskets are there, the crowd is there. I would say we’re well-prepared for that aspect of the game.”

Injured senior shooting guard Shaikeyla Jordan is still expected to be out, and senior wing Adrieanna McCrary will likely start in her place.

Nansemond-Suffolk (17-8, 6-3) vs. Cape Henry (17-6, 9-0), 5:30 p.m. at Hampton Roads Academy

The Lady Saints will look to recover from a sub-par game earlier this season against the Lady Dolphins in which they lost 60-35. They meet again in the semifinals of the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament.

“If everyone on our team can play a relatively good game, I feel like we can compete with them and have a shot of winning,” Nansemond-Suffolk Academy head coach Kim Aston said.

Nansemond-Suffolk freshman point guard Harper Birdsong drives against Cape Henry standout junior guard Bianca Roach during the two teams' first meeting earlier this season on Jan. 31. The re-match will take place today in the semifinal round of the TCIS tournament at Hampton Roads Academy.
Nansemond-Suffolk freshman point guard Harper Birdsong drives against Cape Henry standout junior guard Bianca Roach during the two teams’ first meeting earlier this season on Jan. 31.

Aston pointed out the glaring stats from the Jan. 31 meeting.

“Our point guard had 12 turnovers in that game, Jessica (Pieroni) only shot 30 percent from the floor, Macy (Mears) didn’t score any points. So, when you look at things like that (which) happened the last time we played them, those are definitely things that are uncharacteristic and that if we can improve on this time, we should be able to compete with them.”

NSA will be specifically looking to limit senior guard/forward Alexis Smith, who has signed a Division I scholarship and junior guard Bianca Roach, who is also being recruited.

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