Rodgers breaks own scoring record

Published 4:15 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One day after being named Most Valuable Player in the Southeastern District for the third straight season, King’s Fork’s Tashauna Rodgers broke the King’s Fork single-game scoring record with 49 points as No. 3 King’s Fork (16-6) defeated No. 6 Oscar Smith 75-47 in the quarterfinals of the district tournament at Nansemond River on Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs broke out to a 14-0 lead to start the game and the outcome was barely in doubt the rest of the way. King’s Fork earns a berth into next week’s Eastern Region Tournament.

Rodgers took control of the contest with 12 of KF’s 20 points in the first period. Oscar Smith stayed in man-to-man defense throughout and KF’s offensive response was simple. With Rodgers handling the point guard duties, most KF possessions were clearouts for Rodgers to drive from the top of the key and either get to the basket or shoot a pull-up jumper.

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Rodgers poured in 12 more points, all but four of King’s Fork’s points, in the second period. King’s Fork held a 36-23 lead at the half.

KF’s defensive effort was a collective one. KF’s full-court trapping forced Oscar Smith into 15 turnovers by halftime and 25 for the night. The Lady Tigers’ only threat to KF’s control of the game came midway through the third period.

After baskets by Rodgers, Tamara Stone and Kiera Branch gave KF a balanced start to the half and a 42-23 margin, Oscar Smith cut the gap to 43-32.

Eight straight Lady Bulldog points, capped with a driving, right-handed finger roll for a three-point play by Rodgers, took to lead out to 51-32. KF led 53-38 going to the fourth period.

KF put the game out of reach and led by 20, 63-43 with 3:29 remaining. Urged by KF head coach Garry Murphy, Rodgers continued shooting and going for the record, which was 47 held by Rodgers. Rodgers scored 16 points in the fourth period. Rodgers also finished with 20 rebounds, six steals and three assists.

Whitney Nichols added seven points and four assists for KF; Simone Ricks added 10 rebounds.

“We made a lot of good plays as a team, but we also missed a lot of easy shots,” said Murphy, whose team advances to face No. 2 Nansemond River on Thursday at King’s Fork. The final of the Southeastern District Tournament is set for Friday at King’s Fork.

Nansemond River beat King’s Fork twice in the regular season, most recently 57-47 at King’s Fork.

“If we play like we did in the last game (against Nansemond River), but we make our open shots, we’ll be fine,” said Murphy.

“It’s tough though. We have to withstand their pressure because Nansemond River is a great defensive team.”