Lady Bulldogs advance to SED finals

Published 9:22 pm Thursday, February 16, 2012

King’s Fork High School sophomore Khadedra Croker gets high above the other players to try to block a shot by Indian River’s Chelsea Harrison during a semifinals game in the Southeastern District tournament on Wednesday. On the strength of a 63-50 win, the Lady Bulldogs face Grassfield High School in the finals tonight at 6 p.m. at home.

By Tray Mason

The Kings Fork Lady Bulldogs basketball team went from rusty, to moderate, to playing their best basketball all within the span of one game Tuesday evening.

Delisia Sharpe scored 14 of her 23 points in the second half to help lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 63-50 win over Indian River and to within one game of a Southeastern District Tournament crown.

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“We were definitely flat,” KF head coach Maurice Fofana said. “We just wanted to keep it close up until halftime because if we kept it close our legs would come back.”

The Lady Bulldogs’ legs came back with perfect timing as they dominated the fourth quarter. Their height inside eventually overwhelmed the opposing Lady Braves.

KF possesses one of the biggest frontlines in the Hampton Roads area, with Khadedra Croker and Sharpe both standing 6’4”.

The Lady Bulldogs struggled to get them the ball early, with Indian River playing a 2-3 zone, but in the second half the two post players took matters into their own hands, crashing the offensive boards to get easy layups and foul shots.

Sharpe in particular dominated the fourth quarter, going on an 8-0 run that, when it was over, had given the Lady Bulldogs a 60-44 lead with just 2:15 remaining in the game.

“She continues to play hard,” Fofana said. “If her shot is falling, she’s in it, if it’s not falling, she’s still in it.”

The Lady Bulldogs were the more aggressive team in the second half, both offensively and defensively. They forced numerous turnovers with their full-court press, and Croker recorded five of her seven blocks in the second half. She also had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

On the offensive end, the Lady Bulldogs did not make as many shots as they did in the first half but attempted and made a lot more free throws, shooting 16 of 28 for the game.

KF overcame a hot start by the Lady Braves, who scored on their first six possessions of the game and led 19-14 after the first.

Sophomore Shannell Pope and Chantel Roberts made big baskets in the second quarter that gave the KF a lead it would not relinquish.

Pope nailed two three-point field goals in the quarter, one early that tied the game 19-19, and one with 1:15 remaining, followed by a three-point field goal from Roberts that gave KF a 34-27 halftime lead.

Roberts scored 8 of her 10 points in the second quarter.

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs advance to face Grassfield High School Friday at 6 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs swept the season series against the Grizzlies, winning 45-43 in the first matchup, and 64-52 in the second.