Heritage bites back at Bulldogs
Published 10:38 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014
By Matthew Hatfield
Churning from a one-point conference loss — their first of the season — to King’s Fork High School just six days earlier, the Heritage Hurricanes blew past the Bulldogs on Monday in Newport News.
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King’s Fork’s boys basketball team had handed Heritage its first Ironclad Conference loss of the season and ended the Heritage five-game winning streak, 66-65, on a game-winner from sophomore Deshaun Wethington.
But in the rematch, the Hurricanes stormed out to an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes of the contest and never looked back, cruising to a 66-49 win over the Bulldogs. It marked the second straight loss for King’s Fork, which saw a 12-point half-time lead evaporate Friday in a 59-52 loss to Nansemond River.
The Bulldogs, who are now 11-9 overall and in third place in the conference at 4-4, got away from what had been working for them in previous games.
“I told them at halftime that we’ve had a game plan for the last three games and done well. We just didn’t stick to our game plan,” King’s Fork coach Josh Worrell said.
“Unfortunately, we lost a game on Friday, which we shouldn’t have. Then you come out and decide to do something different than what we ask. It worked last week, so why isn’t it going to work now? They didn’t do anything different. We just decided to not execute what we’re supposed to do.”
King’s Fork misfired on its first nine shots and ended the opening period behind 27-8 on 2-of-14 shooting from the field. Heritage then used its athleticism and speed in the open court to head into intermission up 35-17.
Heritage’s defense bottled up the Bulldogs. The Hurricanes rejected 12 King’s Fork shots.
“I told them that if we cut it to 10 by the third quarter, we might be in a situation, but we catch the ball a lot of times not ready to shoot the basketball,” Worrell added. “They’re so long that you can’t wait to get ready because it’ll be too late. With this team, we have to do all the small things right to be successful.”
It was more of the same in the third quarter as the Hurricanes increased their lead to as many as 26 points midway through the third quarter.
In addition to their excellent length that aided them in shot blocking, the Hurricanes created easy baskets from King’s Fork mistakes. The Bulldogs turned the ball over 23 times.
“I bet you we had eight turnovers the whole game the last time we played them,” Worrell noted. “If we have an opportunity to face them again later, hopefully we’ll learn from this experience.”
Dale Roscoe was the lone King’s Fork player in double figures with 12 points. Sophomore Keith Stagg pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Playing his fourth game back from a groin injury, Wethington chipped in four assists to go with eight points.
“We’re a different team with (Wethington) on the floor,” Worrell pointed out. “This is the first time we haven’t played well with him on the floor.”
King’s Fork closes out its regular season schedule at home on Thursday against city rival Lakeland, looking to re-gain some momentum before the Ironclad Conference Tournament gets underway on Feb. 17.