NR seniors celebrate with rivalry win

Published 11:18 pm Friday, February 6, 2009

Nansemond River and Lakeland needed only 32 minutes of basketball this time around. On senior night at Nansemond River, the Warriors avenged a quadruple-overtime loss four weeks ago to the Cavaliers with a 67-55 win.

An underclassman though, junior Dion Bivens, led four Warriors in double-digit scoring with 20 points as the Warriors held a double-digit lead from the middle of the third period on.

Lakeland’s usual strengths, creating turnovers and hitting three-pointers, turned against the Cavaliers on Thursday at NR. Instead, the Warriors used a 17-8 turnover advantage for repeated fast-break buckets and the Cavaliers managed only 2 of 17 shooting from three-point range.

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The Warriors played tight man-to-man defense on Lakeland’s top scorer, David Barnes, and the Cavs’ main outside shooting threat, Justin Watson. For much of the first half, while the physical defense kept Barnes and Watson from hurting the Warriors from the field, Barnes and Watson took advantage by getting to the foul line. Barnes and Watson combined to make 11 of 12 at the line in the first half and Barnes had 10 points by halftime.

Late in the half, Barnes was caught in a bunch of contact going for an offensive rebound and came away limping. Barnes played the rest of the game with practically no rest, but played with a noticeable limp through the second half.

A run late in the half changed a narrow Lakeland lead into a 31-28 NR lead at the half. The Warriors got balanced scoring with Dontrell Silver’s seven points and six each from two of NR’s six seniors, Nate Nicholson and Shakor Sommers.

Given Lakeland went 6 of 20 from the floor in the opening half with 11 turnovers, being three points down seemed to leave the Cavs in decent shape.

The Warriors grabbed the momentum coming out of the half though, starting the third period with a 15-6 run in the first 5:45.

Two steals by Silver led to lay-ups by Bivens. Offense in the lane by Sommers added to the rally. Bivens and Sommers scored eight points each in the period while Barnes was held to two points. NR won the period 22-12 and led 53-40 going to the fourth period.

The Warriors kept the lead at a safe margin through the final eight minutes as Lakeland never found its usual rhythm from beyond the arc.

Barnes, despite the attention paid him by the Warriors and the injury, led Lakeland with 16 points. Tony Smith had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. Steven Woods had nine points and 13 rebounds.

Bivens scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and had five steals for the game. Sommers had a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Nicholson had 11 points and Silver had 11 points with four assists.

Lakeland (13-7, 12-5) has lost four of its last five games and now trails second-place Indian River by a game-and-a-half with two games left for Indian River and one for the Cavaliers.

The other half of the Southeastern District Tournament bracket is set. Top-seeded King’s Fork will host a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 13. NR (15-6, 11-6) and Great Bridge (12-8, 10-7) will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the 4th-5th seeded game, although which team will be fourth and which team will be fifth is to be determined. KF (19-1, 16-0) will face No. 8 Oscar Smith in the second quarterfinal game.

The Warriors finish their regular season at Deep Creek on Tuesday. The Cavaliers host Hickory on Tuesday.