Bulldogs hand Warriors third straight loss

Published 11:25 pm Friday, December 19, 2014

The phrase “better late than never” was applicable to the King’s Fork High School boys’ basketball team on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs started poorly against host Nansemond River High School but recovered as the game progressed to leave with a 72-56 victory.

“We played against a team that’s probably going to win our conference,” Warriors coach Ed Young said. “They’re that good.”


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But he said his team started out great. It exited the first quarter with a 17-9 lead after hitting 8 of 12 shots and causing four turnovers.

“Second quarter, we got back close,” King’s Fork coach Josh Worrell said, noting Nansemond River led by only four at halftime, but he was not happy with a lot of missed free throws by the Bulldogs.

“Second half, we played like we should have the whole game,” he said. Of the Warriors, he later added, “The first half, they got every rebound they wanted.”

But for the final 16 minutes of play, “We did a much better job defensively,” Worrell said.

The Bulldogs kept the ball in front of them, avoided fouls, limited the Warriors to one shot on their possessions and hit their free throws.

Young said King’s Fork went 20 for 26 from the free throw line, while Nansemond River went 2 for 5 for the game. And all five of the Warriors’ shots at the line came in the first half.

“We couldn’t get there to save our life because we take a lot of jump shots,” Young said.

NR eventually had to foul to stop the clock and try to create some possessions. Its coach said that in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs were 15-for-17 from the line.

He also noted the Bulldogs outrebounded Nansemond River 47-22 for the game.

“They rebound well, and they shoot free throws well, and that was very evident,” Young said. “And those are two things we don’t do well.”

Also, while Nansemond River was initially strong from behind the three-point line this season, it has struggled there in recent games. On Thursday, it was 8 for 32, 25 percent shooting.

Junior Josh Covington led the Warriors with 21 points, and senior Matt Allmond had 14.

King’s Fork junior Keith Stagg led all scorers with 23 points, and added 14 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Freshman Rontre Pope contributed 14 points.

Junior Drequan Wilson played well defensively and added seven points for the Bulldogs.

“He was a big spark for us off the bench,” Worrell said.

King’s Fork gained the upper hand against both of its cross-city rivals this week, also generating a 20-point victory over Lakeland High School on Tuesday.

Worrell did not focus on the Suffolk rivalry aspect of the games in his comments, but rather said, “The biggest thing is they’re two conference games.”

For Nansemond River, Thursday’s loss was its third in a row, “most we’ve lost in a row since I’ve been there,” Young said.

The Warriors (4-3, 0-2) visited Smithfield High School on Friday and will be back in action for the McBee Holiday Tournament in South Carolina at the beginning of the week after Christmas.

The Bulldogs (5-2, 2-0) visited Deep Creek High School on Friday and host Smithfield on Tuesday at 8 p.m. as part of the King’s Fork High School Christmas Tournament.