Nansemond River saves best for last

Published 10:38 pm Friday, December 9, 2011

Nansemond River forward Denell Fox had 23 points and 21 rebounds as the Lady Warriors won at city rival Lakeland 73-42 on Friday night. Lakeland led for much of the game before the Lady Warriors outscored Lakeland 36-3 in the last 12 minutes.

Nansemond River and Lakeland were in a toe-to-toe contest for most of Friday night’s girls basketball game at Lakeland. With Lakeland leading by a bucket midway through the third quarter, two experienced Lady Warriors took over.

Nansemond River guards Ashante Humphries and Janel Cannon have been in tough spots in all sorts of district games during the last two seasons. With Lakeland leading 39-37, Humphries scored five straight points, followed by five straight by Cannon. The Lady Warriors kept rolling to finish the game with a 36-3 run and win 73-42.

Humphries and Lady Warrior power forward Denell Fox scored 23 points apiece. Fox had a huge game in the paint on both ends of the court, adding 21 rebounds and seven steals as well. Humphries had nine steals and seven assists to go with her scoring.

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The Lady Warriors ended up with a rout and lots of impressive numbers by the end of the game but the Lady Cavaliers made it a big challenge most of the way.

Lakeland bounced out to an 11-4 lead. Three-point plays, with Chardonnay Patterson and Kyiesha Barrett finishing fast breaks with lay-ins while being fouled, gave the Lady Cavs their first six points.

In a fast, physical, in one or two spots even contentious, rivalry game, the Lady Cavs worked their way into the bonus less than five minutes into the first half and used it to their advantage.

From a 20-14 Lakeland lead going to the second period, the Lady Warriors turned up their defensive game. Humphries hit a three to cut Lakeland’s lead to a point. Fox followed with an offensive board and short jumper on the next NR possession, making it 21-20 River.

The teams traded the lead, with NR up 34-30 at halftime but Lakeland answering right away to start the third period. Two free throws by Patterson made it 35-34 Lakeland. The Lady Cavs led 39-37 when a loose ball near midcourt, then a jump ball call, ended with a little extra shoving after the whistle.

Whether coincidence or not, a three-pointer by Humphries was the start of the last 12 minutes of play being a Lady Warrior blitz.

Humphries made two at the line, followed by Cannon finishing a fast break with a lay-up. A Cannon trey made it 47-39 Lady Warriors. NR kept going to a 55-39 lead going to the fourth quarter.

After doing much of the scoring to keep the Lady Warriors close early on, Fox added 10 points in the final period, which NR won 18-3.

Barrett led the Lady Cavaliers with 13 points. Patterson finished with seven points and 16 rebounds.

Cannon did some of everything for the Lady Warriors with 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Lakeland (0-4, 0-3) hosts Great Bridge in another district contest Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Nansemond River (1-2, 1-2) travels to Deep Creek Tuesday evening.