Lady Storm claim No. 2 seed

Published 9:09 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Suffolk Lady Storm ended their regular season in the Virginia Cities Fall Basketball League on Saturday with a good test that they passed.

The Lady Storm defeated a challenging Norfolk team 31-19 at Creekside Recreation Center, claiming the No. 2 seed in the VCFBL tournament.

“I loved the defense,” Suffolk coach Tom Lewis said of his team’s performance. “Defensively, they came out prepared early. (They) probably missed too many shots for my liking, but I know that when you play tough defense and you don’t get in foul trouble, you’re going to have more shot opportunities.”

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Taking advantage of the early opportunities was seventh-grader Makaylen Davis, who was outstanding in the first half when she hit three three-pointers and had 10 points to help give her team a 21-7 halftime lead.

Davis finished with 12 points, while eighth-graders Nylah Young and Neecole Brown added seven and five points, respectively.

Lewis said Norfolk (4-3) was one of the toughest foes Suffolk (6-1) has faced this season because of how athletic its players were and because they collectively exhibited a strength similar to that of the Lady Storm.

“They also, on the defensive end, were a little bit of a challenge for us,” Lewis said, adding this was a reason for some missed shots. “I’ve got to give them some credit.”

But Suffolk’s defense was the more dominant one, and it involved contributions from many players, including seventh-graders Lanae Stokes, Tatianna Johnson and Aleemah Johnson, sixth-grader McKenzie Young, as well as the aforementioned scorers, Davis, Young and Brown.

“We were able to control the game throughout,” Lewis said, with the Lady Storm even maintaining a double-digit lead after substitutions were made.

He was particularly pleased by the effort since it was Suffolk’s last as a team before it vies to repeat as champions in the league tournament next Saturday at Creekside Recreation Center.

The No. 2 Lady Storm will play No. 7 Hampton 2 at 1 p.m. If they win, they could possibly face Portsmouth 1 (4-2), a team they did not play in the regular season.

No. 1 Virginia Beach (5-1) will likely be the team to beat. The only reason it has a loss is due to miscommunication over scheduling between the coach and players that resulted in most of the team being absent for a game against Chesapeake.

“They got a head-to-head win over us, so they still maintain the No. 1 seed,” Lewis said.

On Friday, the VCFBL All-Star Game will be held at Joseph E. Parker Recreation Center on 2430 Turnpike Road in Portsmouth.

Each team in the league is limited to two representatives in the game, chosen by their coaches. Lewis said there were definitely four worthy Suffolk players, but he and assistant coach Wayne Copeland ultimately narrowed it down to Nylah Young and Makaylen Davis.

The coaches of the VCFBL’s top two squads will each coach an all-star team. They will pick players from the eligible pool at 6 p.m., with tip-off set for 7 p.m.