Petersburg steals game from Bulldogs

Published 11:41 pm Saturday, December 3, 2011

Team high: King’s Fork guard C.J. Hailes scored a team-high 17 points during the King’s Fork Basketball Showcase at The Kennel Saturday night. Petersburg beat the host Bulldogs 70-63 led by Crimson Wave guard Frank Mason scoring 30 points.

Petersburg scored the last eight points of the game and Frank Mason’s two critical steals in the last 0:13 put away a 70-63 win for the Crimson Wave against King’s Fork in KF’s inaugural KF Basketball Showcase Saturday night.

The Crimson Wave and the Bulldogs traded rallies throughout the contest.

Petersburg led from the start of the second quarter until the final tick of the third period when KF’s Jacorey Smith made a basket in the paint at the horn for a 48-47 Bulldog edge going to the last eight minutes.

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The Bulldogs were holding on to a 63-62 lead until Ahmad Miller sank a pair at the line and Petersburg kept the lead for the final 0:57.

With the Bulldogs looking to regain the lead on the next trip down the court, Mason swiped the ball away from Bulldog center Zach Johnson a split-second after he got an offensive rebound under the hoop. Mason was fouled in the scramble and made two at the line with 12.8 seconds left.

Now down by three, the Bulldogs couldn’t get a shot to tie the score as Mason intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass from Jaylen White to Johnson. Mason went 2-for-2 at the line with 0:09 left to decide the outcome.

Mason finished with 30 points. He made 16-of-22 free throws including his last 11 in a row.

Point guard C.J. Hailes led the Bulldogs with 17 points. Johnson scored all 13 of his points in the second half and tallied 15 rebounds.

“I’m happy with the guys for responding right from the beginning. They know we don’t want to back down from anyone,” said King’s Fork head coach Josh Worrell.

“Unfortunately we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities to extend the lead at the end of the game, from free throws to making wise decisions with the basketball,” Worrell said.

Petersburg scored the first seven points of the second period to claim a 22-15 advantage. KF chipped away at what was an 11-point Crimson Wave lead to make it 36-29 Petersburg at the half.

The contest was physical and intense from the jump ball. Double technicals, one to each side, were needed 1:48 into the game. For the night, Petersburg totaled 28-for-40 at the foul line while the Bulldogs made 25-of-37 free throws.

The Bulldogs looked inside, especially to Johnson, in the second half. Raquan Miller basket in the paint made it 36-34 Crimson Wave.

White finished KF’s fourth shot attempt from short range on the same possession to cut Petersburg’s lead to 47-45 with less than a minute to go in the third.

Smith’s basket at the buzzer put KF ahead for the first time since the first quarter. A pair of Johnson free throws gave KF a 56-51 lead early in the fourth period.

“This lets us know where we are early in the season,” Worrell said. “We know we can play with everybody in the state. This was an opportunity to play a game against great competition and it put us in front of a big crowd to get us tuned up for Tuesday.”

On Tuesday, King’s Fork hosts city rival and defending district season champ Nansemond River at 7:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs and Warriors started their district slates on Friday with 30-plus-point victories.