Lady Warriors head to tourney

Published 10:11 pm Friday, December 17, 2010

Nansemond River center Delisha Sharpe is averaging 18.3 points, 16.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game as the Lady Warriors are 4-0 this season. The Lady Warriors will play in the Crescent Bank Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Dec. 20-23.

For the second time in three seasons, Nansemond River’s girls basketball team gets to head south just before Christmas.

The trip will be fun, but it’s certainly not a vacation for the Lady Warriors, as they’ll face excellent competition in the Crescent Bank Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In December 2008, the Lady Warriors played in the same event and went 2-2. More importantly, though, the chemistry built on the team trip and the battles in each game of the tournament were advantages the rest of the season.

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The Lady Warriors won 12 of their next 13 Southeastern District games after returning from South Carolina and finished the season in the Eastern Region Tournament.

“I thought the level of competition really helped elevate our game. We’re hopeful we have the same result this year,” said Nansemond River head coach R. Calvin Mason Sr.

The Lady Warriors are off to a 4-0 start, with all four wins being Southeastern District contests. Nansemond River beat city rival King’s Fork 60-52 Tuesday night.

Some action in the 16-team tournament starts Saturday, but the Lady Warriors won’t have their first round game until late Monday night. NR draws a tough assignment because it gets the host school, Myrtle Beach. The same squads met in 2008 with the Lady Warriors winning.

“We know their point guard, who was a freshman in ’08, now she’s a junior and one of the best point guards in South Carolina, so we’ve got our work cut out for us,” Mason said.

The Lady Warriors hit the road Friday morning headed straight for the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for a practice, the only practice the team has before Monday’s first round.

That leaves Saturday and Sunday to have some fun. A movie and an aquarium are lined up for Saturday, as well as “what they really want to do, shopping,” Mason said,

On Sunday, the Convention Center hosts a college women’s basketball tripleheader, with the headline game being South Carolina vs. North Carolina.

“It’s always a great bonding experience, to be together as a team for five days,” Mason said.

The rest of the field features three schools ranked in’s national top 25: No. 5 Norcross (Ga.), No. 22 Fayette County (Ga.) and No. 24 Goose Creek (S.C.).

“We want to measure ourselves versus top competition and to have the chance to do that every night, it’s what we need as we go into the rest of the season,” Mason said.

Nansemond River and Myrtle Beach, the last game of the first round, is scheduled for Monday at 8:45 p.m. The tournament concludes on Thursday.