NR girls reach PenSouth semis

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Nansemond River High School girls’ basketball team made it clear on Tuesday that it belongs among the final four teams in the PenSouth Conference.

The Lady Warriors had lost to Bethel High School in a playoff on Saturday, dropping them to second seed and forcing them to find success in the conference tournament in order to clinch a regional berth.

They took their first step toward that berth with a 77-19 rout of No. 7 Gloucester High School in Tuesday’s PenSouth Conference tournament quarterfinals at Menchville High School.

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“Right now, we’re just more talented,” NR coach R. Calvin Mason Sr. said, drawing a comparison to the Lady Dukes. “Gloucester’s team really played hard, they gave their best effort, they just don’t have as much talent as we have.”

The Lady Warriors led 13-4 after the first quarter, 35-9 at halftime and 56-14 after three quarters.

Mason noted he was able to play everyone on his roster before halftime.

Nansemond River senior guard/forward Aneka Yelverton led her team with 26 points, adding five rebounds.

“Briana Autrey had a pretty good game,” Mason said, referring to his sophomore point guard, who finished with 20 points and eight steals.

Lady Warriors senior center Sabre Clegg contributed 12 points and 10 boards.

After Saturday’s loss, “we’re taking the hard road to get to the championship game, but I feel like we’re capable of doing that,” Mason said.

In Thursday’s semifinals at Menchville, No. 2 Nansemond River (17-6) faces No. 3 Menchville High School, while No. 1 Bethel takes on No. 4 Hampton High School.

If the Lady Warriors and the Lady Bruins win, NR will have wrapped up the regional berth.

“We’ll have to cheer for Bethel and hope that we take care of our part,” Mason said.