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Lady Warriors have center of attention

Nansemond River’s girls basketball coach, Calvin Mason, Sr., knew before the season started his team, a squad with only two seniors and three returning players from last year’s varsity team, would have its ups and downs.

Mason’s Lady Warriors finished its regular season Tuesday on a clear high note, winning at Deep Creek 63-43.

Nansemond River dominated the Lady Hornets, who topped NR 56-53 at NR in early January. This time around, NR led the whole way after opening up a 10-2 lead to start the game.

“I’m very proud of what they did tonight,” Mason said.

“When we play together and play the way we’re capable of we’re a pretty good team. When we don’t play together, we’re not a very good team,” Mason said.

The individual standout was sophomore center Delisia Sharpe. At 6-foot-2, Sharpe had a good four inches on any Lady Hornet defender, so when the Lady Warriors got the ball in the paint to Sharpe, mostly good things resulted.

Sharpe finished with a career-high 30 points, as well as 12 rebounds.

“She’s been playing great for us for probably about three weeks. She’s really played consistent basketball in that time,” Mason said.

“I’d venture to say Lisa’s one of the best players in the district based on how she’s played the last few weeks. Of course we’re working to have her do it more consistently, but she’s easily our most improved player,” Mason said.

The Lady Warriors forced Deep Creek turnovers on seven of DC’s first nine possessions of the game and turned the defensive play into a 10-2 lead.

Four straight DC points seemed to bring the Lady Hornets back into the contest, but NR answered with Sharpe scoring in the post and Kennia Webb making a three-pointer to make NR’s lead 15-6.

NR kept going to a 21-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 28-13 margin early in the second period after Sharpe, with a hoop and a missed free throw, then Ashante Humphries getting the rebound and scoring gave NR a four-point play. The Lady Warriors led by double figures the rest of the way.

The Lady Warriors led 36-18 at halftime after shooting 62.5 percent (15-for-24) from the field. Sharpe led NR with 12 points in the half.

Deep Creek cut the Lady Warrior advantage to 37-27 with a 9-2 run in the third period. NR’s offense stalled for about five minutes, but a three-pointer by Kiara Washington ended DC’s run and sparked the Lady Warriors.

Finishing off a steal by Briana McClain and Webb’s assist into the lane, Sharpe scored a three-point play and in a span of 0:24, NR’s lead was back to 16.

The Lady Warriors stretched their lead to 20, 52-32, shortly into the fourth quarter and the outcome wasn’t in doubt from there.

Washington and Humphries added nine points each. Humphries, a freshman point guard, added five rebounds and three blocks. McClain had eight points and four steals. Webb had five points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

“We lost to Deep Creek earlier in the season when we just threw the ball away too much. We’ve been stressing the importance of that. Sometimes it sinks in. Sometimes it doesn’t,” Mason said.

Nansemond River (10-12, 8-10) finished the regular season with a 6-4 mark since the loss to Deep Creek.

The Southeastern District Tournament starts Friday evening with quarterfinal games at Indian River and Western Branch.