Great Bridge star handles Warriors
It is rare in high school hoops to have a player able to have an impact in all facets of the game, offensively and defensively.
On Friday night, Nansemond River witnessed firsthand one of these players and the all-around prowess he brings as Great Bridge point guard Briante Weber led his team to a 68-48 win.
Weber commanded the Wildcat offense while pouring in 28 points to go along with 10 rebounds and six steals. Defensively, he did his duty, shutting down NR leading scorer Ashton Moore to just three points.
“He couldn’t get on track and Weber had a lot to do with it,” said Warriors head coach Ed Young, “he was determined to shut him down and he did it.”
The loss made the Warriors (12-9, 10-7) 0-6 against the top three teams in the district, although all of the losses were close except Friday night. NR lost by three points to the Wildcats at GB on Jan. 8.
But Friday night was a totally different game. The Wildcats jumped on NR early, and never looked back, scoring eight of the first ten points in the game, eventually finishing the first quarter leading 20-6.
“I’m just disappointed in the effort, because it was a team we almost beat on their floor,” said Young, “I thought we would be salivating to beat them.”
The second quarter didn’t get much better for the Warriors. The Wildcats extended the lead to 17, 23-6 on a three point basket from Adam McKee, to start the quarter.
The bad stretch continued for NR when leading rebounder Morris Johnson went down with an eye injury with 3:33 remaining.
A three-point basket by Kerrington Harris cut the lead 30-15, and Johnson reentered the game and scored on a lay-up with 0:12 remaining to make the score 32-19 at the half, which is as close as the Warriors would get the rest of the game.
A frustrated Coach Young would not blame the lopsided loss on his team’s lack of practice this week.
“If it hurt us, it would’ve hurt us last night against Western Branch.” Said Young, “It wasn’t what we were doing, it was how we were doing it.”
Brian Clarke was the lone double-figure scorer for the Warriors with 19 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Clarke also had four assists and three steals with six turnovers.
The Warriors close the season out Monday night versus Deep Creek. NR defeated the Hornets in the teams’ last meeting. The Warriors are likely to either tie Oscar Smith for fourth in the district, or finish fifth. Either result would lead to a first-round matchup between the two teams in the Southeastern District Tournament.