Published 8:59 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Lady Warriors prevail in rivalry to remain undefeated
By Tray Mason
The Nansemond River Lady Warriors withstood their first tough test of the season Tuesday night to beat city rival King’s Fork 60-52.
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After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, the Lady Warriors took the lead within the first minute of the fourth quarter and didn’t look back.
The Lady Bulldogs flustered Nansemond River in the first half with a high pressure, full court defense that forced numerous turnovers and led to easy baskets on the offensive end.
Leading 15-12 after the first quarter, King’s Fork outscored NR 16-8 in the second quarter fueled by 11 points from Shayla Ewell.
“In the second quarter we kind of watched them play after they took the lead,” said Nansemond River head coach R. Calvin Mason Sr. “At halftime we talked about execution and being aggressive.”
Two players brought an energetic spark to the Lady Warriors in the second half. Ashante Humphries, who has seen limited time this season while recovering from a shoulder injury, came off of the bench and scored eight points, all in the second half.
Delisia Sharpe scored 15 of her 18 points in the last two quarters to go along with 14 rebounds.
“Individually (Humphries) adds a dimension that we don’t have, because she can kind of do everything,” said Mason afterwards.
Sharpe was fouled while making a basket with 1.6 seconds left in the third quarter, cutting the KF lead to 41-36 going into the fourth quarter and seemingly swinging all momentum in the favor of the Lady Warriors.
Kiara Washington started the fourth quarter with a steal and a layup to slice into the Bulldog lead even more.
After notching two free throws, Briana McClain stole the ball under her own basket on the ensuing inbound and was fouled, making one of two free throws to tie the game at 41-41.
After a defensive stop, Washington made a three-point field goal from the corner to give NR its first lead since 2:30 in the first quarter.
Nansemond River went up by as many as five points but struggled to put the Lady Bulldogs away, as Brittany Alston made both of her free throw attempts with 4:51 remaining to cut the NR lead to one, 48-47.
The dagger for the Lady Bulldogs came with 2:05 remaining. After missing two free throws, KF fouled Jenel Canon as she scored. Cannon made the free throw giving NR a 57-52 lead.
“We went away from what we were doing in the first half, which was running good sets and scoring within the system,” said King’s Fork head coach Maurice Fofana. “We started to play into their hand and what they wanted us to do, which was playing one on one.”
Freshman Khadedra Croker led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 ponts.
The Lady Bulldogs (2-3, 2-2) were missing two starters, Simone Ricks and Chantel Roberts, due to injuries.
KF struggled from the free throw line, making 38.7 percent (12-of-31).
The Lady Warriors (4-0) had three scorers in double figures. McClain also had 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Cannon had 10 points.
NR hosts Hickory Thursday evening. KF travels to Indian River Friday evening.