Bulldogs rally over city rivals

Published 8:36 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2011

King’s Fork center Zach Johnson totaled 20 points and seven rebounds as the Bulldogs won at city rival Lakeland 71-55 Tuesday night. The Bulldogs (9-3, 7-2) have won four straight games. The Bulldogs have won 11 straight meetings against the Cavaliers.

King’s Fork (9-3, 7-2) wound up cruising to a 71-55 boys basketball win at city rival Lakeland (3-9, 2-7) Tuesday evening but it wasn’t as easy as the final score makes it sound.

First, the Bulldogs had to wait for the Cavaliers to cool off.

Lakeland point guard Josh Beck made three three-pointers in the first 2:34 of action to shoot the Cavs out to a 9-2 lead.

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The Cavaliers, looking for their first win over King’s Fork since 2005, kept the pressure on King’s Fork. Beck scored Lakeland’s first 13 points. Then with the help of two threes from forward Marichal Walden and three hoops by forward Rodney Goodman, the Cavs kept going to a 30-21 lead just past midway through the second period.

As hot as the Cavaliers opened the game equaled how frigid they went most of the rest of the night. The Bulldog defense certainly had a lot to do with the change.

“We did what I wanted as far as the game plan in the first half. We wanted to let certain guys shoot, but obviously not Beck,” said King’s Fork head coach Joshua Worrell. “When we did what we wanted and made other guys shoot, they were making them, too.”

Fred Boone turned a steal and Bulldog fast break into a pair of free throws and Tre Francisco’s steal and lay-up brought the Bulldogs within 30-28 with 2:54 left in the half even as the Cavs had made six of nine three-point shots to that point.

C.J. Hailes stole a Cavalier pass at the top of the key and went in for a pull-up bank shot to tie the game, 32-32. Hailes scored with a lay-in off an acrobatic move along the baseline to put KF up 36-34 and the Bulldogs led 38-36 at halftime.

“To go up two at halftime was a big advantage with the way Lakeland shot the ball,” Worrell said.

The Bulldogs put a box and one on Beck, with junior guard Chris Parker drawing the assignment on Beck most of the half.

“I tell them, every night your number could be called, so be ready. (Parker) did a great job tonight,” Worrell said.

Parker drove in for a lay-up and Hailes got another swipe, breakaway and lay-up for the first four points of the third period.

Zach Johnson tossed in a baseline hook shot for a three-point play for a 48-36 KF margin. Johnson’s play in the paint, especially on the offensive glass, kept KF in shouting distance early. He led the Bulldogs with 20 points and seven rebounds.

KF ran away with an 18-0 run in the first 6:01 of the third quarter making it 35-6 Bulldogs from the point Lakeland led 30-21.

Lakeland chipped KF’s lead down to 58-42 going to the fourth period. Goodman scored a three-point play to bring Lakeland within 65-55 with 2:55 to go.

Johnson answered with an offensive rebound and physical finish in the lane. After the sides traded empty possessions, Jacorey Smith picked off a Cavalier outlet pass, stopping a Cavalier chance to cut KF’s lead to nine or 10 points and going in for a lay-up and a 69-55 KF lead with just under two minutes left.

The Bulldog box and one held Beck to six points in the second half, giving him 22 on the night. Goodman had 11 points. Marche Everett added seven points and six rebounds.

Scott had 19 points, seven rebounds and four steals for the Bulldogs. Hailes had a busy night with nine points, six assists, four boards and three steals.

Lakeland faces its other Suffolk rival Friday evening, going to Nansemond River (11-0, 8-0). The Warriors won 51-47 at Lakeland on Dec. 3.

King’s Fork, with a four-game winning streak, travels to Grassfield Friday looking for a season sweep over the Grizzlies.