Warriors survive tough test from Hawks, 67-62

Published 8:46 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

“They wanted to beat us…even more than Lakeland.” said Nansemond River head coach Ed Young Tuesday night after his young Warriors pulled out a 67-62 win over visiting Hickory.

“Tonight you saw a less-talented, very hard working team in Hickory.” Young said.

The Hawks surprisingly led the Warriors after the first quarter on Tuesday night, had the lead for decent stretches of the second half and were within a possession down to the last minute of the game.

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NR got off to somewhat of a fast start, building a 5-0 lead on a Nathan Nicholson three-point field goal. Nicholson finished the game with 15 points.

After those first two field goals, Nansemond River looked like a different team. Jordan Griggs started what would be a very solid game for him with a three-point field goal at the 5:15 mark to make the score 9-7 in favor of the Warriors. A Hickory layup then tied the game up on the Hawks’ next play.

The first quarter had a lot of back and forth play from the two teams. Hickory played with a lot of intensity and emotion which seem to surprise Nansemond River.

“We took them for granted,” said senior David Long, “they came at us hard but we stuck together and pulled out the win.” Long did not fill the stat sheet but made his physical presence felt inside on both ends of the floor and also led the Warriors with 11 rebounds.

The second quarter did not have much scoring to start. Jordan Griggs tied the game at 19 with a mid-range jump shot at the 5:15 point.

David Long recorded one of the highlights of the game, after one of his rebounds he turned and hit Nicholson perfectly in stride with a football pass for a wide open layup to increase the Warrior lead to 23-19 with 3:47 remaining in the second quarter.

Nicholson closed the first half out with a three-pointer to put the Warriors up 31-27.

Griggs continued his torching of the Warriors by opening up the second half with a three-pointer of his own to cut the Warriors lead to just one point.

Hickory then proceeded to take the lead on a layup and a foul to take the lead 33-31 with 6:49 left to play in the third quarter.

NR then went on somewhat of a scoring spree, capped off by a Nicholson jump shot to open up a 40-33 lead with 4:54 remaining.

Hickory answered with a layup to make the score 40-35 with 4:38 left.

After this basket a series of bizarre calls were made by the referees including a Dion Bivens technical foul. Bivens received the technical after he was called for a defensive foul and jumped in response to the call, which a Hickory player had just done the play before. The referee said that Bivens jumped to high so he received a technical foul.

NR managed to escape the quarter with a tight three-point lead, 46-43.

A Hickory layup and the foul gave them their last lead of the night at 49-48 with 6:53 remaining in the last quarter.

Nansemond River’s leading scorer on the season, Bivens managed to figure out the Hawks defense in time to lead the Warriors on a run and put the Hawks away.

“Our team kept our head, fought through adversity, stuck together and we pulled out the win,” Bivens said. He finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds, and four steals.

Bivens scored on an acrobatic reverse layup with a foul to give the Warriors a 52-49 lead with 6:16 left.

Silver then followed on the next play fighting through contact to score on a floater with the foul. Silver missed the free throw making the score 54-49.

Bivens gave the Warriors their biggest lead of the night with another layup plus the foul with 5:16 remaining though he missed the free throw making the Warriors lead 58-49.

Griggs and the Hawks would not go away without a fight though, scoring on a three-point basket with 3:05 remaining to make the score 62-58.

Griggs then canned a mid-range jumper with 1:30 left to cut the Warriors lead to three 63-60.

On the proceeding play the Hawks refused to foul the Warriors who were stalling. Nansemond River ran a whole minute off the clock before Dontrell Silver was fouled. He made both free throws to ice the game for the Warriors. Silver finished with 10 points, five assists and two steals.