Defense helps Warriors pull away, 58-35

Published 9:38 pm Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nansemond River won its fourth straight boys basketball game to remain undefeated (4-0, 4-0) defeating Oscar Smith 58-35 in a game that was mostly a defensive struggle until the last quarter on Friday. Despite the score, the Warriors struggled to score against a tough Oscar Smith zone.

Both teams played great defense early on which kept either team from gaining a major advantage. Nansemond River and Oscar Smith both played zone defense which made it very hard to score easy baskets in the lane.

The minimal scoring in the first quarter was back and forth and the Warriors led the Tigers 11-7 at the end of the period.

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“We came out sluggish, but we pulled it together in the second half.” Dion Bivens said. Bivens had a game-high and a career-high of 23 points along with 10 rebounds and five steals.

The defensive struggle continued for most of the second quarter though the Warriors managed to put some space between themselves and the Tigers.

A major point in the game came at the 1:04 mark in the quarter when Oscar Smith center Phillip Sims received a questionable technical foul for allegedly kicking the ball after being called for a foul. Nansemond River received four foul shots in the process. David Long made both free throws and Dontrell Silver made one of two to put the Warriors up 27-18 with the ball. Shakor Sommers proceeded to score an easy layup to put the Warriors ahead 29-18 with 0:35 left.

The third quarter continued with the Warriors gradually pulling away from the Tigers. David Long dunked over an Oscar Smith defender to bring a spark to the team and the crowd with 4:01 left in the quarter. After the Warriors gave up a layup on the defensive end, Bivens came down the court and nailed a three-point basket to put the Warriors up 38-27 with 3:15 left.

Bivens continued to pressure the Tigers defense with his offensive prowess, fighting through contact to score a tough layup and receiving the foul. He made the free throw to put Warriors up 41-27 with 1:58 remaining in the quarter.

Nansemond stepped up the pressure in the fourth quarter which was ultimately the game decider. The Warriors allowed just one field goal in the quarter to put the Tigers away.

“We reemphasized the defense, the fourth quarter was really when we put the clamp on,” Warrior head coach Ed Young said. “Dion Bivens, David Long, Steve Skinner, and Derrick White all play fairly good defense and the other guys feed off of them.”