Fork opens district play with easy win
Going into Friday’s game against Hickory, the Lady Bulldogs were looking to establish themselves as the sole team competing with Indian River for the top spot in Southeastern District girls’ basketball. By the end of the fourth quarter, at least KF’s first district challenge was no longer in doubt, as King’s Fork produced too much offense for the Hawks and routed them at home in The Kennel, 65-41.
The biggest attraction of the night was the offensive match-up between top district scorers Ta’Shauna Rodgers and Chelsie Schweers. Rodgers, also celebrating her birthday Friday, put up 21 points for the Lady Bulldogs, edged slightly by a 25-point game for Schweers after the two players tied at 13 for the first half.
&uot;Schweers is going to get her points no matter what,&uot; said King’s Fork head coach Tim Goetz.
Knowing that, Goetz set up his girls with their customary zone defense – Schweers could get open, but the Lady Bulldogs made certain that she was challenged on every shot. Keosha Riddick led the defensive charge, playing aggressive and sticky coverage as the center in the zone scheme that forced countless Hawks turnovers and errant shots.
After winning the first quarter by only three, KF fell behind to open the second as Schweers nailed a three-pointer.
Not to be outdone, Rodgers hit an equally impressive shot deep in three-point land only 20 seconds later. The Lady Bulldogs never looked back, launching an offensive attack on the Hawks that saw 17 unanswered points for KF. Holding Hickory to only nine points in the second quarter with excellent defense, KF cruised into halftime with a cozy 31-19 lead.
The home team opened the third quarter with a 7-0 offensive run, fueled by a pair of free throws from junior Margaret Farris and steals from Rodgers and Brittany Holloway. Holloway was the runner-up scorer for the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points and was a turnover causing presence on defense. Midway through the period, Holloway sank another three-point ball to give KF their first 20-point lead of the night. Still gaining momentum, Holloway made a steal and found Takeya Skinner on a long pass down court late in the third. Skinner, who had five points on the night, handled the dish and scored a lay-up to beat the buzzer.
Schweers and Holloway traded three-pointers to open the final period, as both teams stepped up the pace and intensity, with Hickory desperate for a comeback. Despite the Lady Bulldogs giving up seven shooting fouls in the quarter, the KF squad confidently controlled the game’s end on their way to a 65-41 victory.
&uot;Hickory tried a little of everything, but we were playing great defense,&uot; Goetz said. &uot;We’re working hard and really starting to come together as a team.&uot;
In giving the Hawks their first loss of the season, KF moved to 2-0 after beating Churchland earlier in the week. The next test for the Lady Bulldogs will come Tuesday night when they go on the road to Chesapeake to face the Bruins.
&uot;Western Branch is a good team and we’re going to need the same effort we had tonight,&uot; Goetz said.
In other action Friday evening:
Hickory 58, King’s Fork 51
Hickory defeated King’s Fork in the boys’ hoops contest, 58-51.
Jamar Wertz scored 19 to lead the Bulldogs and Jaquon Parker added 18 points.
King’s Fork hosts Western Branch on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
NSA 65, Hampton Christian 45
Nansemond-Suffolk’s boys’ basketball team broke through after four losses for their first win of the season, a 65-45 win over Hampton Christian.
The frontcourt duo of Ryan Beale (25 points) and Isaac Ballou (19 points) led the Saints who are now off until Friday, Dec. 15 and a game at Isle of Wight Academy.
Hampton Christian 45, NSA 32
NSA’s Lady Saints also took on Hampton Christian on Friday looking for their first victory.
NSA led 22-17 at the half but HC turned things around with a 14-2 third quarter, going on to a 45-32 win.
Jenna Starkey led the Lady Saints with 15 points. NSA (0-4) has their home opener on Tuesday against Atlantic Shores.