Warriors advance to title game

Published 8:18 pm Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nansemond River High School boys’ basketball team shook off some rust and used its speed to defeat Riverbend High School 66-48 on Friday in the King George Holiday Tournament.

“Our depth wore them down,” Warriors head coach Ed Young said, as he played all 13 of his dressed-out players. “Nine of our guys played 10 minutes or more.”

Strong conditioning enabled them to play at a high speed, knocking the Bears out of their comfort zone. But Riverbend, a Group 6A school out of Fredericksburg, kept up with the Warriors early.

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“We haven’t played in a week,” Young said. “We only practiced twice in the last seven days. We just were sloppy, and (in) the first quarter it showed.”

The Bears went 7-of-12 from the field in the opening period, which ended with the score tied at 15-15. Nansemond River committed six turnovers during that time, but then committed only seven the rest of the game.

The Warriors picked up the pace in the second quarter and consequently outscored Riverbend 20-7, with junior Scott Spencer scoring nine points and senior Daniel Wallace scoring six.

The 35-22 halftime lead shrunk to 43-33 going into the fourth quarter, but it was not a portent of doom for Nansemond River. In the final period, it held the Bears to only three field goals.

Riverbend was 6-of-24 from the floor in the second half and had 28 turnovers for the game.

Spencer has been a scoring leader for the Warriors as of late, filling the role again on Friday with 21 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.

“I think sometimes people are concentrated on (Devon) Oakley, and it’s allowing Scott a little more flexibility,” Young said. He added that Oakley’s points are down, “but his assists are way up.”

Oakley had 10 points, seven assists, six boards, four steals and two blocks.

Wallace finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks.

Nansemond River (9-0, 2-0) played against host King George High School in the championship game of the holiday tournament on Saturday evening.