Change goes well for Lady Bulldogs

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2010

King’s Fork guard Brittany Alston passes to a teammate in the first half of KF’s 55-30 win over Kempsville Wednesday afternoon at Norcom. Alston led KF with 16 points.

PORTSMOUTH — King’s Fork’s girls basketball squad held Kempsville to 19 points in the last three quarters to get an easy 55-30 victory on the first day of the Norcom Christmas Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Norcom High.

The Lady Bulldogs usually like to play fast and attack with full-court defense. In the opening minutes, KF’s usual strength played into Kempsville’s hands.

Kempsville passed its way through King’s Fork’s press and turned their ball movement into points a few times. The Lady Chiefs held an 11-10 lead after eight minutes as on KF’s offensive end, a packed-in Kempsville defense slowed the game and kept KF out of rhythm.

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“We went out with our usual man defense and it wasn’t looking that good, so we went more to a zone,” said KF head coach Maurice Fofana.

“We like to play man-to-man but maybe because of the extended break before today or something, we were kind of ragged with it,” Fofana said.

King’s Fork’s change held Kempsville to a single basket in the second period and the Lady Bulldogs steadily took over the rest of the way.

With Brittany Alston’s pull-up 15-foot jumper, Chantal Roberts hitting a jumper in the paint and Taylor Beale’s rebound and short putback shot, KF rolled off six straight points to start the second period.

Center Khadedra Croker banked in a 10-foot shot and Taquandrea Wilson finished her own steal with a lay-up for four KF points in the last 0:50 of the half to put KF up 23-13 at the break.

Alston, making plays and getting her own mid-range shots off the dribble, and Croker controlling the paint kept the Lady Bulldog lead growing through the third period.

Croker scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds in the period. Whitney Nichols and Wilson added good work on the boards as well. Thanks to all the offensive rebounds, even if it took three or four shots on a possession, the Lady Bulldogs scored nearly every time down in the period.

The Lady Bulldogs lead by 20 or more points through most of the fourth period to coast to the win.

“In the second half we got more lay-ups and made them. Early in the game we didn’t get many lay-ups and we missed the easy shots we got,” Fofana said.

“We’re still learning. We’re learning a little more after each game,” he said.

Alston led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points. Croker had 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.

King’s Fork (3-5) advances to the semifinals of its bracket and will face the winner of Wednesday evening’s Mount Vernon vs. Salem game Thursday at 4:45 p.m.