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River wins twice within 24 hours

NORFOLK – With a dominating defensive effort in the second half, Nansemond River’s Lady Warriors won their second game in two nights Wednesday evening, beating Granby, 61-49.

After a district win against Oscar Smith Tuesday night, head coach Calvin Mason, Sr. admitted his team struggled finding the energy they needed in the first half.

Granby took a 27-21 lead into the break.

&uot;I attribute that to last night.

It can be hard, especially for a young team, to realize what it takes to be successful on back-to-back nights,&uot; said Mason.

&uot;I was pleased we took care of the ball better and I’m pleased more than anything that we were more focused in the second half.&uot;

NR trailed throughout in the first half after it took more than three minutes before Anna Cain knocked down a jumper for NR’s first field goal.

Back-to-back buckets in the lane by Brittany Boyd brought NR within 21-16 at the 4:07 mark of the second quarter, but 11 NR turnovers and 25.7 percent shooting (9-for-35) meant Granby had the advantage at the half.

After forcing 15 Granby turnovers in the half, NR’s defense wasn’t the problem, but Mason called on his team for even more pressure.

&uot;We extended our defense in the second half.

We were just looking for a way to pick up our intensity,&uot; said Mason.

Starting the second half, the first eight Granby possessions resulted in seven turnovers and two missed foul shots.

Jessica Mayes converted three times on fast break chances, she scored two lay-ups and then gave NR the lead, 28-27, with a 1-for-2 trip to the line.

Shannon Walker was the other key scorer for the Lady Warriors in the second half.

A steal and breakaway lay-in from Walker made it an 11-0 start to the half for NR and a 32-27 lead.

Granby finally regrouped a little against the NR defense, making it a 37-35 NR lead going to the last period, but in the first 2:53 of the fourth, NR put together an 8-1 run to take a lead that was never really threatened again.

As the clock went under four minutes, NR went into a spread offense.

Instead of trying to kill the clock though, whenever Granby overcommitted on defense, either Trinese Fox or Mayes drove in for a lay-up or a foul.

Mayes, Fox and Walker combined to make 15-of-21 free throws in the second half, mostly in the last four minutes to put away the win.

Mayes finished with 21 points and six rebounds, she was 9-for-13 from the line for the game.

Walker had 18 points and four rebounds; Fox had 10 points, seven assists and five steals.

Charae Rice had five points and 14 rebounds.

NR ended up forcing 35 Granby turnovers.