Warrior defense routs Hickory

Published 9:51 pm Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nansemond River forward Ed Drew goes to the basket during NR's 70-32 win at Hickory Friday night. The Warriors (5-0, 5-0) play at Great Bridge Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

CHESAPEAKE — Nansemond River was simply too tall, too fast and too deep for Hickory as 12 of the 14 Warrior basketball players scored in a 70-32 Southeastern District boys basketball win at Hickory Friday night.

The Warriors (5-0, 5-0) were up 5-0 before the Hawks advanced the ball past midcourt for the first time in the game.

NR head coach Ed Young starting rotating many of his reserves into the game shortly thereafter. The Warriors didn’t need any extra advantage on this night of the regular season, but River’s depth and athleticism, wearing down an opponent by pressing along the way, could be critical in tighter contests.

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“Our bench is real deep. All 14 players can get it done,” said Warrior shooting guard Shannon Evans, who led the Warriors with 16 points.

“It means a lot. When ‘Trell (Dontrell Brite) is running as our point guard, he can dish it to anybody and anybody can finish,” Evans said.

Evans drained a three as the Warriors patiently worked the ball around Hickory’s zone defense on the first possession of the game.

After the hoop, the Warrior defense picked off a pass and Evans went in for a lay-up.

The Warriors fed the ball inside to 6-foot-7 sophomore Daniel Wallace for five more quick points a few minutes later. Wallace made a three-point play and turned another foul into two free throws for a 12-2 Warrior lead.

Wallace, John Joyce and Jay Melendez controlled the defensive boards as the first half continued, leading to more Warrior breaks and dunks.

Wallace finished a fast break with a two-handed dunk. Moments later, off a missed Warrior lay-up, Joyce flew down the center of the lane and in one motion turned the rebound into a huge two-handed jam.

Wallace led NR with nine points in the opening half. Melendez and Evans added seven points each as NR led 35-17.

The Warrior defense kept providing fast, easy offense in the second half. Melendez threw down a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Brite, then drained a three-pointer on the next Warrior possession for a 44-22 Warrior lead early in the third period.

Brite took the ball to the hoop and finished with a lay-up. The Warriors turned a long rebound on the ensuing Hawk trip into Evans pulling up to hit a deep three-pointer for a 49-22 NR lead.

Melendex finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Wallace had a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards. Brite had nine points and five assists.

“Coach says we can go to regionals on our defense, and aggressive defense leads to easy buckets and that sparks our team,” Evans said.

The Warriors hit the road again for their next district game, at Great Bridge on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.