Indian River gets opening win over KF

Published 10:33 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The two girls basketball teams which ended last season’s Southeastern District Tournament met on opening night of the 2008-09 season Tuesday night at King’s Fork.

Unlike the title game on the same court nine months ago, Tuesday’s contest didn’t go in favor of the home team as Indian River was too big and too physical for the Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Braves had their three starting frontcourt players total 50 points and 31 rebounds in a 61-47 win.

As expected, Indian River keyed on King’s Fork’s top scorer and the two-time district Player of the Year TaShauna Rodgers. Rodgers managed what would be an excellent night by nearly anyone else’s standard, getting 14 points, 13 rebounds and three assists, but nothing came easy against constant double-teaming.

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Until the final few minutes, the Lady Bulldogs got enough offense from players other than their star and kept the game within reach.

Indian River held King’s Fork to 2-for-15 field goal shooting in the first period and led 14-8 after the period. Erica Jefferson’s second three-pointer of the game drew King’s Fork within 16-13, then Tamara Stone drained a three-pointer to make it 16-16 two minutes into the second period.

Rodgers added a three-pointer, her first field goal of the game, to make it 19-17 King’s Fork with 4:35 left. The Lady Bulldogs took a 26-23 lead into the locker room. Simone Ricks added five points in the first half for King’s Fork.

Combined with hassling Rodgers every time she touched the ball, the Lady Braves, whether by design or fortunate opportunities, attacked Rodgers repeatedly on the other end of the court with tough play on the offensive glass or with drives to Rodgers’ spot in King’s Fork’s zone defense.

Sometimes Rodgers made the play, blocking the shot or drawing a charge, but eventually the foul trouble piled up. Rodgers got her third foul early in the second half, with King’s Fork leading 26-25 at the time.

A possession later, the aggressive play by both sides turned scary as Stone, on an offensive rebound, then drive to the basket, was knocked to the floor on a blocked shot by Indian River’s Chelisa Painter. The back of Stone’s head hit the floor and after remaining down for a few minutes, Stone was able to be helped off the court.

The Lady Braves steadily pulled away, building a 42-35 lead by the end of the third period. As the game wore on, Indian River’s interior trio of Painter, Shanel Williams and Keira Avant took over more and more of the action.

Jefferson’s shooting kept the Lady Bulldogs in the game. Jefferson canned two treys early in the fourth period, the second one bringing King’s Fork within 46-41. The teams traded baskets until it was a 50-45 score and the Lady Bulldogs had a couple possessions with the chance to make it a one-possession game.

The Lady Braves turned those chances away, then three Lady Brave baskets in a quick rally, with two of the three hoops scored by Painter, made it a 56-45 lead with 3:20 left.

The best chance a last-ditch Lady Bulldog comeback faded when Rodgers fouled out with 1:52 remaining and Indian River ahead 59-47.

For Indian River, Williams had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Avant had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Painter finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

Jefferson finished with a team-high 16 points for King’s Fork. Ricks added eight points and eight rebounds. King’s Fork (0-1) goes to Grassfield on Friday evening.

Other basketball scores from Tuesday


King’s Fork 83, Indian River 52

Lakeland 82, Oscar Smith 65


Oscar Smith 54, Lakeland 51 – OT