Warriors sting Hornets badly, 90-65

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

On Dec. 5, Nansemond River got off to its worst start of the millennium, falling 73-43 to Oscar Smith. In last Saturday’s Tip-Off Classic, the host Warriors had to come back from a 17-point halftime deficit to defeat Woodbridge.

&uot;Where was the team that sent the standard for Southeastern District basketball?&uot; Warrior fans may have wondering. &uot;When will the squad that brought us the last two district titles and last season’s district tournament title show up?&uot;

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The answer came on Thursday night, as the Warriors (2-1, 1-1) used a 31-12 third-quarter jump to rout visiting Deep Creek 90-65 (which wasn’t even as close as the final score indicates, as nearly all of the fourth quarter was played by NRHS’s substitutes) for their first district victory of the season. Marquie Cooke scored 39 points and Dennis Conley dropped in 21 and yanked down six rebounds (Keith Josey, Diontay Perkinson and Eric Joe had seven rebounds each) in the victory.

Cooke and Jerome Burgess sent the Warriors on their first run of the game with 3:28 to play in the first quarter. With the Hornets holding an 11-8 lead, Cooke banked home a layup, then fired an assist to Burgess in the corner. Burgess drained a three-pointer to go ahead 13-11, giving the Warriors the lead for good.

Cooke, who finished the game with eight assists, passed to Burgess twice more in the next minute for five more points, then hit a pair of free throws to go ahead 20-13.

The Hornets scored six consecutive points to get within one, but Conley, Cooke and Joe kept them down for the first two minutes of the second quarter. With 5:25 to go, Conley fought his way through the Creek defense for a layup. Cooke ripped a steal away from the Hornets and passed to Conley, who was fouled, and sank a pair of free throws. Cooke then stole an inbounds pass and burned forward for a layup, and tossed another assist to Burgess for the three-pointer. Joe hit a jumper from the right side, and the Warriors had scored 11 points in less than two minutes.

The half ended with River ahead 44-34, and the first four minutes of the third quarter went back and forth. With his team up 57-44 with four minutes left, Josey hit a layup, and Cooke and Conley stung the Hornet defense for 13 consecutive points in the next three minutes, giving their team an insurmountable advantage.

The Warriors will visit Western Branch on Tuesday.

On Wednesday night, the Nansemond River girls fell 35-29 to Booker T. Washington. The Lady Warriors will go for their first victory of the season tonight at Deep Creek.