Warriors fall a point short
Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 26, 2004
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.