Crabbers skitter past King’s Fork

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014

King’s Fork High School’s boys’ basketball team has been inconsistent on the court this year, and that inconsistency showed itself again on Saturday during the Bulldog Showcase, when the Bulldogs suffered a two-point loss to visiting Hampton High School.

King’s Fork High School sophomore Keith Stagg is hunting for points in the paint against visiting Hampton High School during the host Bulldogs’ 44-42 loss on Saturday.

King’s Fork High School sophomore Keith Stagg is hunting for points in the paint against visiting Hampton High School during the host Bulldogs’ 44-42 loss on Saturday.

The ‘Dogs trailed by a few baskets for much of the game, but there were moments when they made it close.

With 1:43 remaining, King’s Fork sophomore Keith Stagg drove for a basket to knot the game at 40. But then a King’s Fork error on defense helped the Crabbers go back up by two.

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Bulldogs junior Shaun Faulk got an offensive rebound and basket with 16.6 seconds to go, restoring the tie. But Hampton was able to drive for a contested layup as time expired for a 44-42 win.

Josh Worrell, head coach of the Bulldogs, shared what he told his team at halftime when it trailed 27-18.

“Don’t come (and) play, thinking you’re doing me a favor,” he said, pushing them to identify a good motivation for why they are playing basketball. “You have to have a reason you’re here.”

The speech seemed to have a positive effect on his young players as they played inspired basketball for the first two minutes of the third period, resulting in a 6-0 run to make it 27-24. But the Crabbers ended the quarter up 35-26.

“The mental lapses of youth came along,” Worrell said.

Some King’s Fork players were able to avoid those lapses long enough to give their team a chance in the fourth quarter. Junior Justin Chicot scored seven of his team-leading nine points in the last 4:25 of the game, including an inside drive, two free throws and a three-pointer.

“He was trying to take ownership,” said Worrell, who is looking for players who will step up to lead the Bulldogs.

Stagg also contributed two critical baskets in the 9-0 run that tied the game at 40. For the game, he ended up with six points, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks.

Junior Dale Roscoe registered eight points, nine boards and seven blocks. Junior Cornelius Norman had six points and seven rebounds, while senior Jonathan Holloway chipped in six points.

Worrell said his team needs to get the details right to be successful. One of those details was a factor on the defensive play that allowed Hampton to go up 42-40, also giving it a three-point play opportunity. A defender had fouled while not heeding Worrell’s instruction to stay back.

“I felt they were in the mindset, ‘We’ve got to press up on them because we’re down,’” Worrell said.

He said his offense did not follow its training when dealing with a full court press. “We don’t attack it like we should,” he said.

King’s Fork (9-7, 2-2) travels to Phoebus High School (2-12, 1-3) on Friday for a rematch following the Bulldogs’ 51-49 home defeat last week.

Most Bulldog players who were out due to illness last Friday were back in action on Saturday, except for sophomore Terrick Philpot.

Sophomore Deshaun Wethington will return to the lineup against Phoebus, having recovered from a re-aggravated football-related groin injury. He was cleared on Friday, but Worrell wanted to ease him back into play, and hopes his return will provide a spark for the Bulldogs.

Saturday’s eight-game Bulldog Showcase was a fundraiser for the King’s Fork athletic department. All but one contest on the day was competitive.

One girls’ game proved to be a thriller, when Group 2A Brunswick High School defeated Group 5A Hampton High School, 87-79.