Bulldogs beat Warriors, go to 7-0

Published 11:59 pm Friday, December 19, 2008

Led by a supercharged first six minutes of the game, King’s Fork handled its first intra-city contest of the boys basketball season at home on Friday night, defeating Nansemond River 78-64.

In front of a sold out gym, a gym which was closed to any more fans about an hour prior to the tip of the varsity game, the Bulldogs started the game making their first six shots and racing out to a 15-5 lead in the opening 2:20.

A breakaway dunk by Jaquon Parker made it 4-0 KF. Three Bulldogs, Parker, Jamar Wertz and Chris Hearn canned three-pointers and 6-foot-8 Davante Gardner scored two baskets in the lane in the opening rally.

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Parker finished the night with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists; Parker had 22 of his points in the first half. Gardner had 16 points and 11 boards, doing most of his work in the second half to hold the Warriors at arm’s length.

After the opening run by the Bulldogs, the rest of the contest was played with the Bulldogs stretching their lead to as much as 18 and the Warriors (5-2, 4-2) closing within single digits on a couple occasions, but remaining unable to make it a nervy situation for the Bulldogs (7-0, 6-0).

Dontrell Silver kept the Warriors in the contest early, scoring 11 points in the first period as NR drew within 28-23 at the end of the first period.

Parker asserted himself even more in the second period. The 6-foot-4 swingman scored just about every way imaginable, off the dribble, on the break, spotting up from well beyond the three-point arc, with post moves and on offensive rebounds as he scored 15 points, including the first 13 KF points of the period, in the second quarter.

Parker’s drive and running bank shot at the horn gave the Bulldogs a 52-38 margin at halftime.

“We had a great practice yesterday. It was our best practice in a year,” said King’s Fork head coach Joshua Worrell.

“We practiced for about 30-45 minutes and that was it because the guys were working so hard.

Nansemond River played well in some facets of the game early, making 4 of 8 three-pointers and committing only three turnovers in the first half; but stopping the Bulldogs was another problem completely.

“I’m not happy with our defensive effort,” said Nansemond River head coach Ed Young.

“We weren’t where we were supposed to be defensively and we didn’t match (King’s Fork’s) intensity.”

“Parker is so good, he’s so tough to guard. He can shoot the jumper and he’s so strong going to the hole, you just bounce off him,” said Young.

Buckets in the post by Gardner and Parker stretched KF’s lead to 56-38 a minute into the second half. The Warriors fought back with eight straight points, finished with a fast-break lay-up by Brian Clark, only for Gardner to get going again.

The 6-foot-8, 300-pound junior smoothly drove along the baseline, starting from the three-point line and finishing with a soft lay-in, then scored on a tip-in, to push KF’s lead to 14.

KF led 66-55 going to the fourth period and a jumper by Silver made it a nine-point game one possession into the period.

Gardner answered with a bucket on the low block and the Warriors didn’t get within single digits the rest of the way. A steal and dunk by Wertz, making it 76-62 with 1:50 left, sealed the outcome.

The Warriors battled KF’s height on their offensive end as David Long finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Shakor Sommers had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“(Nansemond River) is not a team that will let up,” said Worrell.

“We thought we could’ve made it tough on them if we could’ve gotten up by 20 or more points, but we knew they wouldn’t let up.”

“If someone (in the state) is better than them, I want to see them play,” said Young.

“They’re experienced and loaded. They have a team that will go deep in the season.”

In addition to Parker and Gardner, Wertz quietly added 17 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Bulldogs. KF shot 60.6 percent (20 of 33) from the field in the first half and 50.8 percent (31 of 61) for the game.

For the Warriors, Silver finished with 17 points. Dion Bivens scored 13 points. The Warriors finished with nine turnovers; King’s Fork had 12 turnovers.

Nansemond River has about 16 hours to rest before hosting Wilson Saturday at 2:30 p.m. King’s Fork will test its undefeated mark again on Dec. 26 against W.T. Woodson in the first round of the Ronald Curry Christmas Classic at Hampton University.