Warriors fall a point short

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 26, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Dennis Conley missed two free throws with five seconds left as Nansemond River continued its sad tradition of falling short in Eastern Region tournament competition Wednesday night, falling 52-51 to visiting Maury. The Warriors have lost their last three regional games by a total of four points.

The first quarter was a war, with the lead charging hands seven times and the teams tying four times. Behind 13-12 with 47 seconds left, Marquie Cooke hit a jumper, and Keith Josey banked home a layup to end the quarter ahead 16-13.


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Those buckets gave the Warriors the first real momentum swing of the game, as Conley sank a pair of layup and Vaughn Wilson a free throw for a 21-15 advantage. The Commodores appeared to have grabbed the impetus with six straight points, but Josey hit another jumper and Cooke nailed seven points in a row as the Warriors grabbed a 32-23 halftime lead.

Cooke and Wilson extended the lead to 37-23 in the first minute of the third quarter, but Jamel Hamilton scored five straight points and Kameron Chancillor nailed a three-pointer to get to 37-31. The teams went back and forth for the next four minutes until Chancillor and Bryant Wiggins pushed in seven in a row to get within 43-42.

Cooke took a full-court pass from Conley to go back up by three to end the quarter, but Chancillor tied the score with a long shot, and Hamilton gave Maury its first lead since the first quarter with a layup. Spratley broke away for a layup and Cooke hit a jumper for a 49-47 advantage with 4:34 to play, and Wiggins tied things back up with 2:29 left.

Both teams turned the ball over, and Maury called timeout with 1:16 to go. Spratley stole a pass and sent it to Conley, who banked home a layup with a minute left. Chancillor fired a pass to the right corner to Wiggins, who swished a three-pointer in what would be the game’s final points with :43 to go.

Wiggins stole an inbound pass and passed to Hamilton, who put up a jumper with 18 seconds left. He missed, and the ball bounced toward the right sideline to Spratley. He sent a pass to Cooke, who hurried up the sideline.

Crashing into two defenders, he leaped into the air and gunned a two-hand pass to Wilson in the left corner. Wilson bounced a pass to Conley, who was fouled going for a layup with :05 to go. He missed both free throws, and Maury ran out the clock.

Cooke ended his final game with 21 points, leaving him at exactly 2,100 – 14 points shy of Antoine Willie’s school record. Conley had a double-double with a team-leading 12 rebounds and 10 points.