Lady Bulldogs make it 5 straight

Published 8:22 pm Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bulldogs win: King’s Fork’s Kurtisha Ewell totaled 10 points and eight rebounds as the Lady Bulldogs (9-8, 8-5) won 43-37 at Hickory Friday night. KF trailed 26-20 late in the third period before coming back for the victory.

CHESAPEAKE—King’s Fork’s girls basketball team jumped all over city rival Nansemond River Thursday evening, winning the opening period 22-6 on the way to a 54-41 victory.

The Lady Bulldogs did the same the following night at Hickory but not until the last two minutes of the game. It was barely enough for a 43-37 KF win but plenty good enough to take the Lady Bulldog winning streak to five games.

Hickory led King’s Fork (9-8, 8-5) 16-6 midway through the second period and 26-20 late in the third period.

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Hickory’s defense kept the Lady Bulldogs at bay much of the way and KF helped the hosts out as well.

The Lady Bulldogs went 0-for-11 from three-point range until Taquandrea Wilson made one from beyond the arc for the last points of the first half, leaving a 20-13 Lady Hawks lead at the break.

With a high number of turnovers and lots of long-range misses King’s Fork went more than 10 minutes without a field goal through the first and second quarters

The defensive battle actually increased by both sides after the half. Hickory didn’t score for the first 5:44 of the third period and still led 21-17 with a 1-for-2 trip to the line at that point.

Freshman center Khadedra Croker’s lay-up brought KF within a basket but a technical foul on KF head coach Maurice Fofana turned into a four-point Hickory possession and a 26-20 lead.

Brittany Alston made a three-pointer off an inbounds play in the closing seconds of the third period. Alston’s shot was a big one, cutting Hickory’s lead to 26-24 with a quarter to go.

Croker made two foul shots to tie the score 0:35 into the fourth period. The Lady Bulldogs forced a steal at midcourt and on KF’s third shot on the ensuing break Croker scored in the paint for a 28-26 KF lead, KF’s first lead since 4-2 less than two minutes into the game.

Desirea Johnson made a three-pointer to put KF back ahead 31-28 with just under five minutes remaining.

With the Lady Hawks back within a point, 33-32, KF lost turnovers on three straight possessions but kept Hickory off the board as well.

After being fouled going for a defensive rebound, Croker made 1-of-2 at the line with 2:18 remaining. Alston stole the ball from a Hickory dribbler a second after the ensuing inbounds pass. Alston took it herself for a lay-in and, by this game’s standards, a huge 3-0 rally and a 36-32 Lady Bulldog edge.

Croker swated away four Hickory lay-up attempts and a 17-foot jumper on a wing in the final couple minutes to finish with yet another triple-double, her ninth of the season, with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 blocks.

Kurtisha Ewell’s 12-foot jumper while driving into the lane restored a two-possession lead, 38-33, for KF with 1:05 left.

Fofana said his team’s intensity peaked Thursday in the win over Nansemond River.

“We came out with great intensity. We put up 22 points in the first quarter, so we jumped on them early and we kept it up, which was really a big, positive step for us,” Fofana said.

“We pressed some, trapped some, played some zone, some man. We changed up and used every defense we knew. We sent absolutely everything we had at them,” he said about Thursday’s win.

All Southeastern District play is off until Friday with exam breaks. The Lady Bulldogs have two tough opponents on deck but with both games at home. KF hosts Indian River Friday and first-place Western Branch Tuesday, Feb. 1.