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Rodgers’ range puts away Lady Warriors

With a 14-4 run in the fourth quarter, fueled by the three-point range of Ta’Shauna Rodgers, King’s Fork put away a strong challenge from city rival Nansemond River Thursday night at the Kennel, winning 61-46.

Rodgers scored 19 of her 28 points in the second half and she also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Jessica Mayes led NR with 17 points.

For three quarters, neither side led by more than seven points and the Lady Warriors were keeping their upset bid very much alive.

KF was clinging to a 41-40 lead about 90 seconds into the final period.

About a minute before, Rodgers went to the bench limping after contact on an offensive rebound.

She was quick to return to the action though and she got the KF rally going with a left corner trey.

Rodgers followed that up by taking a charge, returning the ball to KF.

Quira Galson knocked down a 15-foot jumper on that trip.

After a lay-up by Trinese Fox got NR back within four at 46-42.

KF had their offensive rhythm though, to NR’s credit for one of the few stretches of the night, and Brittany Holloway answered with a three.

Next time down, Ransheda Jennings found Rodgers spotting up on the right wing and the sophomore drained it, making it 52-42 with 5:02 left.

NR got a bucket and what looked like a defensive stop against the Lady Bulldogs but LaTonia Gatling hustled to pick off the outlet pass.

Gatling then found Rodgers again beyond the arc on the right side and Rodgers poured in another trey, making it 55-44, KF’s largest lead of the night to that point.

From there, the Lady Warriors were unable to get the margin back into single digits and the Lady Bulldogs made the final gap look larger than most of the game indicated.

The contest started off with Rodgers in control.

Barely two minutes into the game, Rodgers had scored all five points in the game and drawn two fouls on NR senior Shannon Walker, one of NR’s usual top-scorers.

River stayed in the game though and KF led just 9-5 at the end of the first period.

On their first two possessions of the next period, NR got buckets from Charae Rice and Mayes to tie the game.

KF’s full court press was causing a good share of turnovers but whenever NR could get into their half-court offense, they got good looks and even plenty of lay-ups through the second quarter.

NR finished the second quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 27-24 lead into the break.

In the opening 1:41 of the second half, Rodgers took over again.

She scored a pair of free throws and a three-pointer to put KF in front, 29-27; then she hit a 26-foot trey to make it 32-27.

Jennings got a steal and made the outlet pass that Gatling took in for a lay-up, capping off a 10-0 KF run.

NR called time, regrouped, and put up their own run.

With a slow, deliberate half-court offense, the Lady Warriors’ run took a little longer, but inside the last minute of the period Fox converted two free throws, giving NR a 38-37 lead.

Galson, who finished the night with 10 points, hit a jumper for the last points of the third period but KF’s lead was a single point with eight minutes left.

KF’s 14-4 run was part of a 22-8 advantage in the final period as the Lady Bulldogs improved their record to 4-0 (3-0 district).

Holloway ended up below her scoring average with just five points, but she had an outstanding all-around game with eight rebounds, five steals and five assists.

Jennings added nine points and six rebounds.

For the Lady Warriors (3-3, 1-2), Fox was also in double figures with 13 points and three assists.

Rice finished as NR’s leading rebounder with eight to go with six points.

Both teams are back in action tonight with KF heading to Great Bridge and NR going to Indian River.