Lady Bulldogs put press on Granby

Published 11:47 am Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After dropping its first two games in the Norcom Invitational, King’s Fork finished the tournament with an easy victory over Granby, 44-25, on Tuesday morning in Portsmouth.

With an 8 a.m. start, a slow start would’ve been expected from both teams. Instead, the Lady Bulldogs were very much awake and ready to go for the odd tip-off time.

Kiara Branch and Chelsea Robinson canned KF’s first two three-point attempts of the game to put the Lady Bulldogs out to a 6-0 lead. The Lady Bulldogs kept rolling to a 15-6 lead by the end of the opening quarter.

From the start, King’s Fork was too quick and too good defensively for Granby. KF wound up forcing 37 turnovers. KF’s head coach, Maurice Fofana, was pleased with that part of his team’s effort, but sees more to work on to make the defensive work pay off on the scoreboard.

“With the pressure defense we play, we expect to get a bunch of turnovers and lay-ups. If we, as a team, can stop throwing the ball away, we’ll win more than we lose. That’s our big problem right now, not turning the ball over right after we force a turnover,” Fofana said.

That problem was evident in the second quarter. After jumping out to a comfortable lead, the Lady Bulldogs could’ve put the game out of reach by halftime. Instead, thanks to eight turnovers in the second period, KF managed only six points in the period and led 21-11 at halftime.

Granby chipped the lead down to eight a couple times early in the third quarter. Robinson made a basket for the Lady Bulldogs and on the ensuing full-court trapping by KF, Branch got a steal, drove to the basket and scored what became a three-point play, putting KF up 28-15 with 4:41 left in the quarter.

Granby didn’t score again until a free throw in the final seconds of the period. KF took a 35-16 lead to the fourth period after forcing 14 Granby turnovers in the third period.

Forward Chantal Roberts scored seven of her 11 points in the second half. Roberts also had 12 rebounds and three steals. Roberts was named KF’s representative on the all-tournament team.

Robinson added 10 points. Whitney Nichols had eight points and seven steals as KF totaled 23 steals overall.

“We’re going to pressure the other team as much as we can, no matter how good or bad the other team is. Our press kind of gets us going,” Fofana said.

King’s Fork (2-7, 1-5) returns to Southeastern District play on Tuesday at Great Bridge.