A new day in Warrior history
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 10, 2004
If only all title victories could come so easily.
Only days after their team had to fight off an explosive Lakeland attack and suffered a close loss to Hermitage, Marquie Cooke scored 29 points and Dennis Conley had a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists as Nansemond River clinched its third consecutive individual Southeastern District title Tuesday night with an 82-50 victory over visiting Hickory. It was the first time in school history that the Warriors had won three consecutive titles, and their fourth overall. They are the first team to win more than two consecutive districts since Deep Creek took four in a row from 1989 to 1992 (before the Warriors were in the district).
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&uot;That was the total goal of the night,&uot; Conley said of the district title. &uot;We wanted to make sure we came out as the number one seed for the tournament.&uot; The district tournament begins Tuesday for the boys (the girls start on Monday), with the Warriors at home against an undetermined opponent.
The district tournament standings became even more complicated when Oscar Smith slipped past visiting Lakeland 45-44, leaving both teams with three district losses. The resolution of the matter was not known at press time.
&uot;We have many more to go,&uot; said Conley, a member of all three district-winning squads. &uot;We want to do something we’ve never done before; go through regionals and get to state.&uot; The district title automatically qualifies the team for a berth in regional competition, which begins after districts.
An overmatched-yet-valiant Hawk squad kept things close for much of the first half, getting within 28-24 with 2:26 to go in the second quarter. But Cooke and Jerome Burgess scored seven quick points for the Warriors to end the half ahead 39-29, and Conley and Eric Joe completed consecutive three-point plays to take an insurmountable 62-43 lead as the third quarter closed.
The Warriors have one more battle before heading to district competition; their &uot;Senior Night&uot; game against Wilson on Thursday night. Cooke, Conley, Fred Spratley, Justin Sorensen and Dionaty Perkinson will be playing their final regular season home games.
Both Nansemond-Suffolk Academy teams moved to 1-1 on the week on Tuesday, as the boys recovered from a loss to Cape Henry on Monday to beat host Peninsula Catholic 60-40. Adam Gillette had 15 points and Bo Garner 14, and Todd Harrell had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Saints, who defeated Cape Henry 40-32 on Monday, fell 41-35 to the Lady Knights. Ann-Taylor Spain led the team with 12 points, and Michelle Boucher had 11. In the Cape Henry game, Lexi Holland yanked down 26 rebounds.