Hampton cruises past Lady Warriors

Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three weeks ago, before his team had played a regular season game, Calvin Mason, Sr., Nansemond River’s head girls basketball coach knew his team would have to endure some difficult learning experiences along the way.

A couple nights after holding one of the best teams in the Southeastern District to only 45 points in what was a hard-fought win for Indian River, Nansemond River was routed 76-40 by Hampton in the first round of the Boo Williams Holiday Classic in Hampton.

After a 21-0 run by the Lady Crabbers in the first quarter made the score 28-3 at the end of the first eight minutes, experience and lessons for later in the season were what the Lady Warriors had left on Monday night at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.

For some stretches of the last three periods, most notably when Hampton called off its full-court, man-to-man defense, the Lady Warriors held their own well against a team likely to play deep into the regional, and perhaps, state postseason.

The final outcome was never in doubt though. Nansemond River dropped into the consolation bracket for the last two games of the Holiday Classic. Nansemond River (1-5, 1-4) played Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.

Hampton got out to a 7-3 lead in the first three minutes before the floodgates really opened. The Lady Crabber guards forced repeated steals that led to easy breakaway lay-ups.

As quick as Hampton was defensively, the Lady Crabbers were also bigger than the Lady Warriors. Sophomore center Delisia Sharpe was the only NR player who had success in the opening half as she had six points and seven rebounds. The 6-foot-2 Sharpe finished the night with 10 points and nine rebounds.

In the second half, Ashante Humphries and Denell Fox scored seven points each for NR. Once Hampton called off most of its defensive pressure, the Lady Warriors found success passing the ball into the lane and getting to offensive rebounds for put-back baskets. Humphries also had six assists and five steals.

At halftime, Mason calmly coached his squad while using a portion of the bleachers in the Sportsplex as his classroom.

On NR’s first possession of the second half, 11 seconds into the half, Mason called a timeout, huddled his team two-thirds of the way across the court from his bench and not-so-calmly went over some of his halftime talk again.

Following the game, Mason sat with his players again, for at least 25 minutes, going over what the game needs to teach them.