Warriors put away Cavs

Published 10:47 pm Friday, January 14, 2011

Nansemond River center John Joyce shoots as Lakeland forward Rodney Goodman goes for the block during the first half of Friday night’s game at Nansemond River. The Warriors (12-1, 9-1) pulled away late for a 64-56 win and a sweep over Lakeland.

Nansemond River rebounded from its first loss of the boys basketball season but needed until well into the fourth period against visiting Lakeland to earn a 64-56 victory.

Ashton Moore’s 19 points in the second half, including three three-pointers, changed a back-and-forth game into Nansemond River’s favor.

“The key was in the first half I wasn’t really moving without the ball like I should. In the second half I was moving a lot more. My teammates got me the ball and they were setting really good screens for me, so I give them all the credit,” Moore said.

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The whole game was fast, bordering on hectic in some spots, in Nansemond River’s highly-charged gym. Neither side led by more than seven points until six straight NR points put the Warriors up 53-41 with 3:31 remaining in the game.

The Warriors (12-1, 9-1) gained the momentum in the early stages. Shannon Evans hit two three-pointers in the final couple minutes of the first period, the first boosted NR’s lead to 11-7 and the second at the horn to make it 14-8 NR going to the second period.

Forward Marichal Walden worked hard around both hoops, tallying five points and eight boards, to keep Lakeland in the game.

Samson Worrell scored the first nine Cavalier points of the second period. Worrell drained threes on back-to-back trips and after NR’s lead stayed at 16-14 for a couple minutes Worrell drove hard to the hoop for a three-point play to move Lakeland ahead.

Both teams’ usual leading scorers, Moore for the Warriors and point guard Josh Beck for the Lakeland, went for just three points each in the opening half. The Warriors held a 23-21 edge at the break.

Moore and Beck traded shots right out of halftime. Moore made a jumper to open the half’s scoring. Beck answered with a driving lay-up followed by a three-pointer and Lakeland led briefly again.

Kendrick Washington scored in the paint to move NR ahead 29-28. Moore hit a right-wing three to make it 34-30 Warriors, then hit a trey from two strides deeper on the same wing to stretch NR’s lead to 37-30.

Beck scored five more points, for 12 in the quarter, closing NR’s lead down to 39-37 going to the last eight minutes.

Moore scored five points in the first 0:45 of the fourth quarter, including another deep three finishing a Warrior break after a Lakeland miss, a long rebound gathered by Dontrell Brite and Brite finding Moore for the open shot.

Brite’s quickness and passing in the open floor sparked the next NR run. Directly off another defensive rebound, the 5-foot-9 Brite led a Warrior break and dished a bounce pass to Michael Copeland for a lay-in and a 53-41 Warrior lead.

Lakeland closed to as close as 58-54 NR with 0:31 remaining. After going scoreless for three periods, Rodney Goodman scored 14 points for the Cavs in the fourth period.

Goodman’s tip-in basket cut the Warrior lead to four. Moore made two foul shots with 0:28 left and after a Cavalier three-pointer was off the mark Brite got the board and made two at the line with 0:17 left.

Beck led the Cavaliers (3-10, 2-8) with 19 points to go with six rebounds and four assists. Worrell also finished with 14 points. Walden led Lakeland with 12 rebounds.

For the Warriors, Moore finished with 22 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals. Evans scored 13 points. Brite had seven points, seven rebounds and six assists. Jay Melendez added eight points off the bench.

NR’s main defense on the night was the blocked shot. Daniel Wallace led the Warriors with six blocks. John Joyce had 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Nansemond River, with a regular-season sweep over city rival Lakeland, travels to Grassfield Tuesday evening. Lakeland gets three straight home games next week, starting Tuesday against Indian River.