Graduates grapple in alumni games

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 11, 2005

It might have just been for charity.

There may not have been any scholarships or Southeastern district titles on the line.

But Friday night, the ladies from Nansemond River and Lakeland showed that the competitive spirit that burned inside them during their high school years is just as hot as ever.

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In the third annual Alumni Basketball Games at River, which was sponsored for the first time by the Parks and Recreation department and raised roughly $200 for the United Way, the Lady Cavaliers held off a fierce charge by the crosstown counterparts to hang on for a 39-35 victory.

The Lady Cavaliers led for virtually the entire contest, and 1998 graduate Marvetta Lewis swished a pair of free throws with three minutes left to get ahead, 34-27. River alumni Stephanie Adams, as she so often did during her Lady Warrior tenure, drained a three-pointer. Jamaica Mack snuck through the River defense for a layup, but Amy Patterson completed a three-point play with 1:41 left to get within 36-33.

Neither team scored on their next respective possession, and Lewis missed a jumper from the right side with 50 seconds to play. LaToya Taylor, who led all scorers with 11 points, pulled down the rebound, charged down the right baseline and found a wide-open Adams under the basket, cutting the advantage to one at the 40-second mark.

Lakeland was called for traveling, and Adams launched up a three-pointer from the left. It hit the back of the rim and came down into the paint in a mass of players. Lakeland got a jump ball, and Cherri Phillips was fouled with 16 seconds to go.

She made her first free throw and missed the second, but a pass went out of bounds, and the Lady Cavaliers had the ball back. Phillips was fouled again and swished both one-pointers to ice the win.

&uot;This was for the love of the game!&uot; said Mack, who’s now studying computer science at Norfolk State University, where she hopes to play basketball this winter. &uot;I love beating Nansemond River. There were some people here that I didn’t even know played basketball.&uot;

Rebecca Bailey led the Lady Cavaliers with nine points, one more than Tameka Dillard.

The men’s game was a bit more one-sided, as the Warriors raced to a 17-0 lead and carried it all the way to a 78-52 victory. Derrick Bryant led the team with 19 points, with Lee Wilson and Alvester Franklin knocking in 11 each.