Lady Warriors’ season ends

Published 10:44 pm Saturday, February 11, 2012

Driving: Nansemond River High School’s Ashante Humphries drives down the court against a tough Indian River defense Friday in the first round of the Southeastern District tournament at King’s Fork High School. The Lady Warriors led by 10 points at one point in the second quarter, but Indian River tied the game at the half and pulled ahead for good in the third.

By Tray Mason


The Nansemond River girls basketball team was ousted in the first round of the Southeastern District Tournament Friday evening, losing to Indian River 41-36.

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Despite leading by as many as 10 points in the second quarter, the Lady Warriors trailed the entire second half and seemingly lost their competitive edge after falling behind.

NR attempted a late-game comeback, as the Lady Braves scored only once in the entire fourth quarter.

Indian River instead opted to go with a conservative strategy in the final quarter, holding the ball and not attempting many shots as time elapsed.

The Lady Warriors countered this first playing a 1-3-1 trapping zone, which caused five Indian River turnovers. NR was not able to capitalize, though, scoring just two points off of turnovers in the fourth.

NR went with a smaller lineup in the fourth, minus their usual center in the middle, hoping for more quickness. While this worked, the Lady Warriors also struggled to rebound because of their lack of size against a small Indian River squad. They allowed five offensive rebounds in the final quarter.

The Lady Warriors struggled from the field the entire game, shooting just 30 percent from the field and 6 of 16 from the foul line. The team would struggle against Indian River’s 2-3 zone the entire game. NR went 0-for-4 from the three-point line in the last quarter, all considerably good looks.

Despite all of their struggles, the Lady Warriors still had a fighting chance to advance in the tournament.

Two free throws from Denell Fox cut the Indian River lead 41-34 with 1:41 to play. NR would struggle with the game on the line, though.

Their last three possessions were all attempts inside the lane that the Lady Warriors were just not able to convert. On their last possession of the season, they missed three layups consecutively after getting the offensive rebound for each.

The game was tied 22-22 at the half.

Indian River opened the second half by scoring on four of its first five possessions, eventually outscoring NR 15-6 in the third quarter.

Senior Jennell Cannon was a lone bright spot for the Lady Warriors in her final game, scoring 16 points to go along with four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Cannon scored 12 of her 16 in the first half and carried NR offensively for majority of the game, despite suffering from a knee injury.

“She wasn’t the same in the second half because of the injury,” Lady Warriors head coach R. Calvin Mason Sr. said.

Fox was the only other NR player in double figures, scoring 12 points and 13 rebounds. She struggled to get those 12 points, though, going 4-of-12 from the field and 4-of-10 from the free throw line.

The defeat may sting a little more than normal, as the Lady Warriors finished the season with two consecutive losses to Indian River, having lost Tuesday 70-42. NR won the first meeting between the two, 60-53.

“I thought that we were as prepared for this game as we were for any game all season,” Mason said. “We didn’t execute in the second half, and that speaks volumes.”

The tournament continues on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. at King’s Fork High School, when Indian River meets King’s Fork, which had a first-round bye.