Bulldog depth too much for Warriors

Published 3:12 pm Monday, February 2, 2009

The King’s Fork Bulldogs may be the deepest team in the state and their many weapons came in handy on Friday night when they gave Nansemond River its third straight loss, 77-67.

The emotions of the cross-town rivalry were flowing early in front of a sold-out gym. Back and forth scoring was the story of the first half with both teams not giving much of an edge defensively.

Sam Hughes started the game early with a three-point field goal to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead, only to be answered by Derek Wright with a three of his own.

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King’s Fork issued a full-court press, which didn’t seem to cause many Warrior turnovers but disrupted their offensive flow.

“We were trying to cause turnovers, but we know they have two great guards that handle the ball well,” King’s Fork head coach Josh Worrell said, “in our press sometimes we weren’t getting back quick enough and that’s why they were getting open shots.”

Jay Copeland excited the crowd in the first with a power dunk on a fast break to put the Bulldogs up 13-9 with 3:50 left in the first period. Copeland finished the night with 23 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Dion Bivens answered Copeland with a three to bring the deficit down to one point. The Bulldogs ended the quarter leading 21-16.

Jaquon Parker had the highlight of the night when he drove baseline and finished with a thundering dunk at the 7:35 mark in the second quarter.

A Davante Gardener score plus the foul put the Bulldogs up by six, 26-20, at the 5:57 point in the quarter.

Nansemond River made a run though, Shakor Sommers scored on a layup assisted by Dontrell Silver to bring the Warriors within two, 31-29 at the 3:00 mark. Summers scored on the Warriors’ next trip down, scoring on a putback off of a missed layup by Bivens, to tie the game, forcing a Kings Fork timeout.

Two consecutive Warrior three point field goals gave them a 37-32 lead at the 1:50 mark. NR led 40-36 at halftime.

Jamar Wertz started the second half with a three to cut the lead to one point, only to be answered by Silver with a three.

The two teams traded the lead during the third quarter. Nate Nicholson nailed a three at the buzzer to make the score 58-56 in favor of Kings Fork.

This is the closest the Warriors came the rest of the game. The Bulldogs’ depth on offensive would prevail.

Parker scored while being fouled at the 3:15 mark to give the Bulldogs a 71-65 lead. Sam Hughes answered just 14 seconds later, but missed the free throw after scoring making the score 71-67.

The Warriors chances started to fade when Sommers missed the front end of a one and one that would’ve made it a one possession game with 1:55 left.

Copeland scored while being fouled with 1:04 remaining in the game to give the Bulldogs a 74-67 lead.

Parker had 22 points and five rebounds for the Bulldogs followed by Wertz with 12 points.

Sommers led the Warriors with 18 points and 12 rebounds. David Long and Hughes had 14 points each for NR.

“We had great energy and came out really spirited,” Warriors coach Ed Young said after the game, “We have to control the tempo better, we wanted to go at their weakness which was the point guard and we didn’t do a great job on that.

Nansemond River’s next game will be at Hickory. The Warriors (13-6, 9-6) defeated the Hawks 67-62 in their first meeting this year. King’s Fork (18-1, 15-0) will be on the road against Suffolk rival Lakeland. The Bulldogs defeated the Cavaliers in double overtime in their first matchup this year.