Knights storm NR for easy win

Published 8:09 pm Saturday, January 2, 2010

NORFOLK – A slow first half was way too much for Nansemond River’s boys basketball team to overcome on Saturday afternoon and Kellam routed the Warriors 92-69 at Lake Taylor High School in one of eight games played in the 2010 Virginia Preps Invitational.

The Warriors (4-5) had a successful trip to North Carolina earlier this week. The Warriors took in the Rutgers at North Carolina game in Chapel Hill, then for the important part of the trip, the Warriors lost in overtime against one of North Carolina’s defending state champions, then routed Patrick County 81-44 in the second game of the tournament.

Instead of building off the two good games, on Saturday, Nansemond River head coach Ed Young summed it up, saying, “Today was so frustrating because just when you think you’ve taken two steps forward, you take four steps back.”

After Ashton Moore’s three-point play gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead, Kellam went on a 19-1 run and had control the rest of the way.

The Knights led 24-11 at the end of the first quarter and 50-22 at halftime.

Kellam was led by junior point guard Trey Freeman and 6-foot-5 freshman forward Ramone Snowden, but in the opening 16 minutes, the Knights hurt the Warriors from all directions.

Kellam shot 66.7 percent (18-for-27) from the field in the half and had six players score five or more points, led by Snowden’s 13 points.

For the Warriors, Moore went on to tally 15 points by halftime; but everyone else was off for NR.

“We came out with no energy, no enthusiasm. No one played well, not even our big guns,” Young said.

“We played no defense and because we played no defense, we had no easy offense,” Young said, who said this was his team’s worst of the season, even worse than a 22-point loss against Indian River.

Nansemond River showed some energy and urgency after halftime, especially when putting a full-court trap on the Knights.

The Warriors had a few sequences in the third quarter with two or three steals in quick order and five- or six-point spurts, but it was never enough to get back into the game.

Kerrington Harris’s three-pointer and a steal and jumper by Moore cut Kellam’s lead to 60-38. NR kept pressing and a bucket in the paint by Morris Johnson, who was plagued by foul trouble for most of the game, brought NR within 63-46 with just over a minute left in the third period. The Warriors got the ball back twice with the chance to cut the lead more, but Kellam got the last points of the period and still led 66-46 after three periods.

Freeman led the Knights with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Snowden finished with 15 points.

For the Warriors, Moore finished with 23 points and four steals. Johnson had 14 points and 17 of NR’s 29 rebounds. Brian Clarke had 12 points and Harris finsihed with 10 points.

Going back to a better topic than Saturday’s defeat, the Warriors got to tour the UNC Basketball Hall of Fame prior to Monday’s game in the Dean Dome.

“We spent an hour in there. It has the whole history of Carolina basketball and it was beautiful. The kids really enjoyed that,” Young said.

The Warriors have a full week ahead with a district game against Western Branch leading off on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, Nansemond River will have its annual game against a school from Australia. This year, Kookaburras School from Melbourne is the guest.

Kookaburras will be playing Nansemond River as its fifth game of a six-game tour of the Carolinas and Virginia. Lakeland and Nansemond River will have a JV boys game at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. The varsity game with Kookaburras will follow around 7:30 p.m.