Bulldogs victorious in thriller

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2012

By Tray Mason


In front of a raucous crowd Tuesday night at Nansemond River, the King’s Fork Bulldogs were able to hold off the Warriors in a thriller that went down to the final play.

In the lane: Nansemond River senior Dontrell Brite tries to power around the King’s Fork defense for a shot during the Warriors’ 59-57 loss at home to their intra-city rivals on Tuesday.

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Leading 59-57 with :07 remaining in the game, the Bulldogs forced a tough three-point shot from Shannon Evans that would have won the game for NR. The result splits the season series between the two rivals.

“I told Ed (Young, Nansemond River’s head coach) when we shook hands after the game, that’s why we play,” said Bulldogs head coach Josh Worrell. “You put your best players out on the floor and see what happens.”

In a game where the Bulldogs never trailed or led by more than eight points, a stingy defense and clutch shot making was enough to return an early season loss to Nansemond River.

A thunderous dunk from Trevon Wiggins to close out the third quarter gave King’s Fork all the momentum going into the final quarter, leading 44-36.

NR managed to keep it a one-possession game for the majority of the fourth quarter. An offensive rebound followed by an easy basket gave King’s Fork a 56-51 lead with 2:00 remaining in the game.

On the ensuing possession, John Joyce missed the first of two free throw attempts, making the score 56-51.

A steal followed by a lay-up from Evans cut the KF lead to two, 56-54, with 1:22 left to play. Evans was fouled on the play but missed the free throw.

Jacorey Smith quickly responded with a reverse lay-up to put the Bulldogs back up four, 58-54.

Evans nailed a three-point field goal on the next possession to cut into the Bulldogs lead 58-57 with 58.7 seconds remaining.

A Kendric Washington steal gave the Warriors a chance to take the lead, but Kyle Moore couldn’t handle an errant pass on the sideline and gave the ball back to the Bulldogs.

Smith would also turn the ball over on the Bulldogs next play, but the Warriors couldn’t capitalize as Evans missed a tough mid-range jumper with :08 remaining.

The miss forced NR to foul Byron Taylor to stop the clock. Taylor would miss the first of two free throws, make the second and give the Bulldogs a 59-57 lead.

Nansemond River head coach Ed Young elected not to call a timeout, allowing Evans to come down and take the last shot, a contested three, which he ultimately would miss as time expired to give the Bulldogs the win.

Evans paced the Warriors with 25 points on 48-percent shooting, to go along with five assists. Dontrell Brite added 15 points for NR and also had seven assists and five steals.

Jacorey Smith led the Bulldogs with 12 points, while senior Zach Johnson had eight points to go along with 13 rebounds.

The win bumped King’s Fork up to second place in the district with a huge game at home versus first-place Great Bridge this Thursday.

Nansemond River dropped down to third place in the district and also plays a big game versus cross-town rival Lakeland on Thursday.