NR wins, despite rough edges

Published 6:44 pm Saturday, January 5, 2013

Nansemond River junior guard Devon Oakley looks to pass during the Warriors’ 77-48 home victory over Oscar Smith on Friday night. Oakley finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Despite a lapse in the second half that gave visiting Oscar Smith some life, the Nansemond River varsity boys’ basketball team ended up with a 77-48 victory on Friday night.

“I actually kind of feel like we lost the game,” Warriors head coach Ed Young said. “I’m disappointed in our performance,” he said. “We just didn’t commit to anything we’re supposed to do. We went over a few things at halftime to kind of clean up our act, and we looked 10 times worse.”

The Warriors held a 40-17 lead at halftime.

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“It’s like we took it for granted,” senior forward Ed Drew said. “We just came out real flat, and that’s when we just started collapsing.”

Nansemond River senior forward Kendric Washington stretches beyond the Oscar Smith defense during the Warriors’ 77-48 win at home on Friday night. Washington had 18 rebounds, seven points and five blocks.

“This team’s got to learn sooner you can’t play championship basketball when you want to,” Young said. “I kind of felt that’s what we did today. We had enough of a lead, ‘OK, we don’t have to go real hard, they’re not that tough,’ and we just started doing stupid stuff. Playground basketball disorganization doesn’t work in this program.”

“We could’ve definitely played better on the defensive end, because in the first half, we held them to 17 points,” junior guard Devon Oakley said. “In the third quarter, they had 18.”

At one point, the Tigers had cut the Warriors’ lead to 16, with the score 49-33.

In the locker room at halftime, Young had refrained from giving his team a defensive goal, instead letting them set one. The talk was that the Tigers would not even score 30 points. Young told them he figured they would hit 50 and when he heard the disagreement from his players, he said, “All right.”

The score was 56-35 after a poor third quarter showing for NR and as the Tigers climbed their way through the forties in the fourth, Young sent his team a simple message.

“I called a 30-second timeout, and I said, ‘God help you if they get 50,’” he said.

NR came out with renewed intensity to avoid a tough practice, and the Tigers were stopped just short.

The Warriors put together a fourth quarter overall that showed improvement from the third.

“We were giving them easy shots in the third quarter, so we started playing ‘D’, we started getting transition buckets, and the lead went back up,” Oakley said.

One area in which the Warriors were utterly dominant was rebounding, holding a 76-34 edge for the game. NR had four players in double figures for rebounds.

Drew led the way with 18 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots. Young commented on his importance to the team.

“Tell you what, we don’t have him inside, boy, are we in trouble,” he said. “He’s shown in this region he’s one of the more reliable inside kids, and he knows what to do.”

Sophomore swingman Scott Spencer had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Oakley had 15 points and 10 rebounds and senior forward Kendric Washington tallied 18 boards to go with seven points and five blocks.

Junior guard Khalil Carroll added seven points, six assists and three steals.

Young explained the logic of how he operates when his team holds a big lead.

“I don’t care if we’re up 50, our style of play doesn’t change,” he said. “You go with what works, because you’re not playing that opponent, you’re playing what you have to do as you get deeper in the season, playoff time, so they get confident, it’s worked, you can make your changes as necessary. You don’t just go away from everything.”

Nansemond River (10-2, 7-1) will host Indian River on Tuesday night.