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Fork, Lady Cavs win in Classic

King’s Fork 57, Nansemond River 49

In the opening game of the Lakeland Pepsi Christmas Classic, the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Warriors met in a rematch of a district game from two weeks ago.

Paced by Ta’Shauna Rodgers’ 21 points and 13 rebounds the Lady Bulldogs led from the middle of the second period on to beat NR again and move to Friday evening’s championship game.

Ransheda Jennings scored a lay-up directly off the opening tip but after that bucket, NR held KF scoreless for the next four minutes.

NR’s offense wasn’t completely in gear either though.

Jessica Mayes scored two buckets to help NR take a 6-2 lead.

The two teams combined for 14 turnovers in the first quarter and despite KF’s drought, they were tied, 8-8, at the end of the period.

NR turned their attention inside to start the second period.

With center Brittany Boyd scoring a bucket in the lane and drawing fouls on two other possessions, and then a driving lay-in by Shannon Walker, NR built a 15-11 lead.

KF needed a dose of energy and got it from Rodgers.

Right after Walker’s score, Rodgers pulled up a step beyond the arc on the left wing, and calmly tossed in a three-pointer.

A blocked shot by Brittany Holloway put KF on offense again and Rodgers hit another three, making it 17-15 KF with four minutes left in the half.

KF finished up the half with two buckets in the last 30 seconds.

Jennings snapped a one-handed pass from the top of the key to Holloway as she cut to the basket and Holloway scored the lay-up.

Then Rodgers took a defensive rebound, started a break and scored on a put-back off a rebound, making it 26-19 KF at the half.

Fork slowly pulled away for a 40-28 lead going into the final period and a 46-30 lead with 6:30 remaining.

Riddick was the main force for KF on both ends of the court.

She nearly had a double-double in the second half alone with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Combined with Rodgers’ 13 boards and seven each from Holloway and Jennings, the Lady Bulldogs had second and third shot attempts throughout the second half as well as an advantage at the foul line.

NR made a late run, led by Walker’s scoring.

A three by Walker cut the KF lead to 46-37 and an old-fashioned three-point play by Walker made it 52-46 with 1:27 left.

With the lead down to six, KF came down and took a quick shot.

A Lady Warrior tried to save the rebound as it was going out of bounds, but her save went to Riddick in the lane who was fouled while scoring a short jumper, she also made the free throw.

Another key to KF keeping their lead was Rodgers at the foul line, she made her last 10 attempts of the game, mostly in the last few minutes.

Lakeland 62, Surry 58

In the second game Wednesday evening, the Lady Cavaliers got all but four of the their points from the trio of LeCetra Arrington (22), Terika Lunsford (21) and Delicia Whitehead (15), but what turned into the game-winning free throws came from freshman Tierra Armstrong.

With 0:31 remaining and the game tied, 58-58, Armstrong was fouled after getting a defensive rebound.

She made both free throws for her only points of the game.

Surry had a chance to tie but they lost the ball out of bounds with :14 left.

Lakeland was able to move the ball and avoid a foul until Whitehead was fouled with :03 left; she made both free throws to seal the win.

Both sides played intense defense and took a lot of shots, making for a frenzied contest from start to finish.

Lakeland’s full-court press forced 10 Surry turnovers in the first period, with Arrington’s quickness providing steals and deflections.

She had eight points and five steals in the first period and Lakeland led, 14-10.

Lakeland led 27-22 at the half and 30-22 a minute into the third period before an 8-0 Surry run brought the large crowd of visiting Surry fans fully into the game.

The Lady Cavs, actually just Lunsford, responded with nine straight points.

Three straight buckets and then a trey by Lunsford made it 39-30 with three minutes left in the third and Lakeland led 41-37 going to the fourth.

After a Surry basket started the fourth, Arrington scored seven straight for the Lady Cavs, building a 48-39 lead.

Over the next four minutes everything went Surry’s way, including the energy in Lakeland’s home gym, as the Lady Cougars went on a 15-1 run, taking a 54-49 lead.

The teams traded two-pointers then Whitehead converted on two free throws with 1:44 left.

On the Surry inbounds, Lakeland forced a five-second call.

Now down by three, Whitehead made her only three of the night, from the right wing, to tie the game, 56-56.

Surry came down and put up a quick shot, Arrington was fouled going for the rebound.

She made both free throws with 1:24 left.

Surry tied the game with a lay-up and had a chance at the foul line to go ahead.

Then after an Arrington miss, Surry had two more shots to take the lead, but Lakeland survived, setting up Armstrong’s and Whitehead’s free throws.

&uot;We had a lot of our starters in foul trouble,&uot; said Lakeland coach Johnetta Vaughan, &uot;I’m proud of the way we played through it.&uot;

Three Lakeland players fouled out.

Wednesday’s win made back-to-back wins for Lakeland after an overtime win against Hickory before Christmas.

Arrington scored 38 points in that game.

&uot;We’re trying to figure out if that’s a school record,&uot; said Vaughan.

&uot;Two wins in a row is good, hopefully we’ll have some momentum heading into playing King’s Fork.

It should be a very good game for us to use as a gauge before heading into the rest of the district schedule,&uot; said Vaughan.

Lakeland (2-5) meets King’s Fork (8-0) in Friday night’s championship game, set for 6:30 p.m. at Lakeland.

Woodside 71, King’s Fork 57

Coming off last week’s victory at Nansemond River, King’s Fork’s boys’ basketball squad received a big ovation just for walking into the gym about an hour before their with Woodside was set to start.

A big third quarter run from the visitors from Newport News spoiled this evening for the Bulldogs however as Woodside outscored KF 28-8 in the third period to turn a close contest into an easy win.

Fork’s excellent outside shooting dried up as until a couple three-pointers in the last few minutes of the game, KF was 0-for-10 from beyond the arc.

With nothing going in from deep, KF still hung with Woodside through the first half.

With Jamar Wertz and Jaquon Parker driving to the basket and Devante Gardner playing big in the lane, KF traded the lead with Woodside and Woodside took a 30-26 lead into the half.

Woodside’s pressure defense and running game took over for good in the third period.

A 9-0 run in the opening 1:49 pushed Woodside’s lead to 39-26 and KF had no answers until Woodside had a 68-44 lead with 2:20 remaining in the game.

A late run against Woodside’s substitutes brought KF within 12 at one point, but only served to make the final margin closer.

King’s Fork (6-3) will play the loser of Thursday’s Lakeland/Battlefield game in Friday’s consolation game at 5 p.m.