Warriors welcome Australian visitors

Published 9:43 pm Saturday, December 13, 2008

For the third straight season, Nansemond River welcomed an Australian high school basketball team to Suffolk, and for the third straight season, the Warriors outraced their special guests by a healthy amount.

On Saturday night, Nansemond River defeated Northern Territory of Darwin, Australia 94-63. The Warriors took solid control of the game with a 32-15 score in the second period. Five Warriors finished the game in double-figure scoring, led by Shakor Sommers with 17 points and 11 rebounds as the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Sommers was too big and strong for the Australian team around the basket.

Northern Territory is on a seven-game tour through the Carolinas and Virginia and was 2-1 on its tour going into Saturday’s game.

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The Warriors jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first 3:38 of the game, forcing a timeout and a loud, forceful huddle for Northern Territory. NR kept going to a 13-3 lead before Northern Territory briefly got its way back into the game.

Aaron Reinhott knocked down three-pointers on each of the last three Northern Territory possessions of the first period, bringing Northern Territory within 19-14. Between quarters, it was Nansemond River’s turn to have a heated conversation led by head coach Ed Young.

With NR leading 25-18 a couple minutes into the second, the Warriors rolled off 11 straight points to take command for the rest of the night.

Sam Hughes and Dontrell Silver made back-to-back three-pointers. Dion Bivens followed with a steal, fast-break and short jumper, then David Long finished a break with a three-point play as River’s defensive pressure led straight into much of its offense.

The Warriors kept going to a 51-29 halftime lead. Hughes knocked down three treys in the first half. Hughes and Reinhott led their sides with 11 points each in the half. NR shot 52.4 percent (22 for 42) from the floor in the half.

When Northern Territory’s defense made it tough on the Warriors, as it did for decent stretches of the second half, Sommers and Long were too physical inside and offensive rebounding kept River’s lead over 20 points the rest of the way.

Travis Thorne, a 6-foot-0 wing player, was the best all-around player for Northern Territory on Saturday. Thorne battled for rebounds and loose balls as Northern Territory worked to match the Warriors’ aggressiveness. Thorne and Reinhott had 15 points each. Six-foot-5 Arjen Smit had nine points and seven rebounds.

For the Warriors, Sommers had 13 points and seven rebounds in the second half. Nate Nicholson was the main force when the Warriors got out in transition in the second half, finishing with 16 points. Steve Skinner scored nine points in the second half.

Long finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Bivens had 12 points and six rebounds. Silver had nine points, seven steals and six assists. NR had a 46-22 rebounding advantage and forced 22 turnovers by Northern Territory.

Nansemond River (5-0, 4-0) returns to more local competition on Tuesday as district foe Indian River visits.