KF girls reach finals, regionals
Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The King’s Fork girls’ basketball team returned to early season form on Wednesday during the Conference 17 tournament semifinals at King’s Fork High School.
Playing Lake Taylor High School for the fourth time in the last 29 days, the Lady Bulldogs improved to 3-1 against its Norfolk rivals during that stretch, ending the Lady Titans’ season with a 67-51 defeat.
“We looked like the team that was 20-0 at one time, and that’s what we kind of talked about all week in practice and over the weekend is getting back to that team that we used to be,” Lady Bulldogs coach Maurice Fofana said. “We did a bunch of things well tonight, and I was proud of my kids.”
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King’s Fork followed up a 20-0 start to the season with a recent 1-3 stretch that dropped it into a three-way tie for first in the conference with Lake Taylor and Woodrow Wilson High School.
The 1-3 stretch included a 66-61 overtime loss to Wilson on Saturday, with the game deciding who would hold the No. 1 seed in the conference and clinch a regional berth
It took a little longer, but the No. 2 Lady Bulldogs clinched the regional berth on Wednesday with their semifinal win and No. 1 Wilson’s semifinal victory over Deep Creek High School.
After King’s Fork defeated Lake Taylor 58-49 on Jan. 19, the Lady Titans handed the Lady Bulldogs their first loss of the season on Feb. 5, 67-64 in overtime. The Lady Bulldogs beat Lake Taylor 52-47 in Feb. 11’s playoff to determine who would face Wilson on Saturday.
On Wednesday, King’s Fork did what Fofana said he knew it was capable of against the Lady Titans, and a key factor in making it happen was defense.
“Everything we played — we played some man(-to-man), we played some zone — they played well on the defensive end tonight, and I couldn’t ask for no more than that,” Fofana said.
The Lady Bulldogs led 17-6 after the first quarter, Lake Taylor shrunk that lead to 26-23 at halftime, but then King’s Fork began to break the game open late in the third period.
KF junior guard Cydney Nichols went down with an ankle injury on a foul with 2:35 left in the quarter, and she did not return. King’s Fork led 40-35 when she left, but it closed the quarter on a run to lead 46-37 going into the fourth.
The Lady Bulldogs featured clutch play from junior forward Amesha Miller, sophomore point guard Camary Harris, freshman forward Nylah Young and senior forward Jazlyn Dunn among others to help push the lead out to 21 points at one point in the final period.
Miller finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, Harris had 13 points and six assists, Dunn had six points and 11 boards, Nichols had 10 points and Young contributed 10 points
“She stepped right up,” Fofana said of Young. “She’s been doing it all season.”
The coach was not sure how long Nichols will be sidelined, but he said, “I would never say that she would be out for a while.”
King’s Fork (22-3) plays Wilson for the Conference 17 tournament championship on Friday at 6 p.m. at King’s Fork High School.