KFHS girls get an easy win

Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The King’s Fork girls’ basketball team gave its seniors quality time on the home court during Senior Night, and after a slow start against Oscar Smith, the Lady Bulldogs easily won 71-37 on Monday.

“I think overall we did well,” King’s Fork head coach Maurice Fofana said.

But Fofana said he had other objectives for the night besides just winning.

King’s Fork senior shooting guard Shaikeyla Jordan guides a shot against visiting Oscar Smith during Senior Night and the Lady Bulldogs’ 71-37 win on Tuesday.

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“I just wanted to kind of play all these seniors,” he said. “We have seven, so I was working my seniors in, and I was also kind of working on some things for the future, too. We were running some different defenses that we hadn’t really run all year.”

He was also giving opportunities for growth to some of his less experienced players by putting them on the court and letting them play with some of the regulars.

Fofana refrained from using his usual starting lineup to begin each half, using two different groups that each included seniors.

“Even the second group, they played well,” Fofana said. “They played good defense. They didn’t make a lot of shots, but they did play good defense. Because for a while, the first quarter, we kind of went into a hole, but we were never worried.”

King’s Fork trailed 17-9 at the end of the first quarter, which Fofana thought was due to the girls’ inexperience, overthinking things when they needed to just play. Senior power forward Taylor Beale was also valiantly participating despite an injury.

“She messed up her knee, but this is Senior Night, so she kind of limped through it and played for a little while,” Fofana said. “Then she just finally said, ‘Coach, come on, I can’t go.’”

Fofana was proud of the performance of the starters that he put on the court for each half.

“I was happy to see that everybody got good quality minutes, and (the third-quarter starters) played as hard as the first-quarter starters, so I was happy to see that,” he said.

The usual starting lineup helped ensure that the Lady Bulldogs had a comfortable lead after the first quarter, powering the team to a 37-23 advantage at halftime. KF led 61-27 at the end of the third and even led by 40 at one point in the fourth.

King’s Fork junior power forward/center Khadedra Croker led the team with 16 points in addition to 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Senior wing Adrieanna McCrary had 13 points.

While Croker is the player on the team known for racking up triple-doubles, senior wing Chantel Roberts has frequently been close to achieving those types of numbers herself. Against the Lady Tigers, she had 12 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

“She’s just the x-factor, because — and you can see — she can just do it all,” Fofana said.

Fofana and his assistant coaches cited Roberts’ value to this year’s squad now that she’s recovered from a game-changing injury she sustained last season in the regional semifinal loss to Princess Anne.

“We told her she’s starting to come back into her own, and she’s going to be the difference,” Fofana said. “If she can produce and play every night, it makes us a different team. It makes us a totally different team.”

The Lady Bulldogs (18-3, 15-2) faced Lakeland last night on the road.