King's Fork High School's 2013-14 girls' basketball team, coaches and staff celebrate after winning the Ironclad Conference tournament on Friday.
King's Fork High School's 2013-14 girls' basketball team, coaches and staff celebrate after winning the Ironclad Conference tournament on Friday.

The Lady Bulldogs reign

Published 11:41pm Friday, February 21, 2014

It was simultaneously a three-peat and a first.

King’s Fork High School’s girls’ basketball team followed up back-to-back Southeastern District tournament titles by winning the inaugural Ironclad Conference tournament championship on Friday.

The top-seeded Lady Bulldogs defeated No. 2 Nansemond River High School 59-41 at the Kennel, using confident defense that frequently anticipated the Lady Warriors’ moves.

“I’m very excited for my young ladies,” KF head coach Maurice Fofana said as they move on to regionals.

King's Fork High School senior Khadedra Croker looks through Nansemond River High School's defense during the Lady Bulldogs' conference tournament championship win on Friday.
King’s Fork High School senior Khadedra Croker looks through Nansemond River High School’s defense during the Lady Bulldogs’ conference tournament championship win on Friday.

The Lady Bulldogs led by an even wider margin before the fourth quarter, but Fofana’s overall confidence in his players’ individual defensive capabilities was only cemented by the contest.

“King’s Fork is just going to play straight man-to-man defense,” he said, noting they will change it up only if someone can beat his girls.

Nansemond River ended the first quarter down only 17-12, but it only managed four points the rest of the half.

Senior Khadedra Croker praised the defense of her teammates, freshman Amesha Miller, sophomore Latonia Thomas, freshman Cydney Nichols and senior Shanell Pope.

“They all just stepped up immediately,” she said.

Particularly spectacular on both ends of the court was senior Brittany Alston, who recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 14 assists and 10 steals, slashing into the Lady Warriors’ passing lanes to grab the ball and fast break opportunities.

Alston said the win means a lot in her last year. “We’ve just got to go all the way,” she said.

Croker also registered a triple-double with 12 points, 19 rebounds and 13 blocks. Nichols had 11 points and Miller added 10.

Fofana said when he won the state championship as a player with Nansemond River, his team went 26-2. Now, he hopes to achieve the same result and record as a coach.

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