400 wins for NRHS coach

Published 10:07 pm Friday, January 18, 2013

Nansemond River head coach Ed Young earned his 400th career win on Thursday night as his Warriors defeated the visiting Lakeland Cavaliers by the score of 61-45. He was happy with the accomplishment, but after the game said, “I’m just happy with the kids overall because they got the win. I told them, ‘I got 400 wins, I ain’t scored a point or grabbed a rebound in any of them.’”

Nansemond River High School boys’ basketball coach Ed Young got his 400th career win Thursday with a 61-45 win over Lakeland.

With the win, Nansemond River completed a sweep of its cross-town rivals this week.

After the final buzzer sounded, the Warriors mobbed Young to congratulate him.

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“This is a great feeling, especially for us seniors, before we graduate,” senior forward Ed Drew said. “It’s like a present to Coach.”

Drew, in his third year playing for Young, led the Warriors with 13 points, 12 rebounds, eight blocks to go with three steals and two assists.

Fellow third-year varsity player Kendric Washington expressed a similar sentiment after turning in a strong all-around game with 11 rebounds, six points, five blocks, five steals and four assists.

“It felt great to give our coach his 400th win against a cross-town rival, put them away in the second half,” he said.

Young was pleased to reach the milestone, though he admitted that it was not a number he had been keeping track of until he was reminded of it three days earlier.

“I just look it as a lot of games, over 500 games coached,” he said. “I just hope I can keep going. I don’t think I’ll get another 400, I don’t see that ever happening, but it’s kind of neat. This team is special that I got that number with them.”

Young was grateful to those who have helped him win over the years, especially some who are now in much different roles than when they started.

“I got a couple of my assistants on the bench — Jason Wadley and Jason Taylor are former players of mine that got me wins when they played, and now they’re getting wins with me as a coach.”

Lakeland’s bench also owed something to Young, as Cavaliers head coach Clint Wright worked under Coach Young about ten years ago, doing scouting and serving as an assistant coach. Wright played against Young-coached teams when he was in high school, and one of his current assistant coaches at Lakeland played for Young.

“I played against him all my high school career when he was (coaching) at Suffolk High,” Wright said. “Of course, my assistant, Tony Smith was his go-to guy, and I was at John Yeates High School.”

Wright expressed praise for Young, even though he was disappointed to have lost Thursday’s game.

“Naturally, I didn’t want to be on the losing side of that event, but again, he’s done a tremendous thing at Nansemond River, and I definitely commend him on his efforts,” he said.

Wright said that turnovers were a key in Thursday’s loss.

“We reduced the number of turnovers that we typically have in the first and second quarters, which showed,” he said. “That’s why we were still in the basketball game, but then we increased (them) as the game went on.”

Lakeland trailed by only five at halftime, but after the third quarter the spread was 10, and at one point during the fourth it was 20.

Young said the game felt similar to the teams’ previous meeting this season at Lakeland.

“I think (in the) fourth quarter, once again, as we did over there, we wore them out,” he said. “They’ve got big, physical kids, so the game plan was to stretch them as much as possible.”

“We use our bench a lot,” he said. “I just feel that we have to wear out other teams, and if we got into a physical match with this team, we’d be in trouble. And we took the (physicality) out of it in the third quarter.”

The Warriors’ defense prevented Lakeland from having any double figure scorers. Freshman forward Deonta Knight led the Cavaliers with eight points and eight rebounds.

NR senior guard William Goodman had 12 points, and junior guard Devon Oakley added 11 points and four each of rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

Nansemond River (14-2, 11-1) hosted Deep Creek last night, and Lakeland (7-10, 4-8) hit the road and played Great Bridge.