Lady Chiefs outpace KF

Published 6:36 pm Monday, March 7, 2016

Amesha Miller stared dejectedly at the hardwood as she stood just outside the lane, waiting for a teammate to shoot a free throw during the latter half of the fourth quarter on Monday in Richmond.

The look said it all, as King’s Fork High School’s girls’ basketball team already trailed by more than 20 points in the Group 4A state semifinals. The Lady Bulldogs fell 79-55 to Monacan High School, the defending 4A state champion.


King’s Fork High School sophomore point guard Camary Harris, right, looks for points on a fast break against Monacan High School during the Group 4A state semifinals on Monday in Richmond. (

“We like to play at a fast pace, but I think (this afternoon) was just a little faster than what we expected,” King’s Fork coach Maurice Fofana said.

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The Lady Bulldogs made school history this season with their inaugural appearance in the state tournament. But after winning in the state quarterfinals, they got an idea from the Lady Chiefs of what it takes to make it past the final four.

For the first period on Monday at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center it was a relatively close game.

After Monacan jumped out to an 8-0 lead, King’s Fork recovered, making it 12-11 at one point. Benefiting from strong play by freshman forward Nylah Young, the Lady Bulldogs kept up and trailed only 18-16 with 40 seconds left in the period.

They had the ball with a chance to end the quarter in a tie or with the lead but then committed a turnover and ended the quarter down 20-16.

“We did a good job the first quarter stopping the ball and playing the game that we wanted it to be throughout the whole game,” Fofana said. “But in the second quarter, (we) let some things get away from us and force us to do some things in our defense that we didn’t really want to do, and it left people open.”

The Lady Chiefs led 42-29 at halftime.

King’s Fork faced Monacan in the 4A East semifinals on Feb. 25 and lost 72-54. Fofana said some things that happened during that contest manifested themselves again on Monday — the Lady Chiefs pushed the ball well, King’s Fork’s players did not get back and some opposing players were left open.

A focus of the Lady Bulldogs’ defense was 6-foot-1-inch Monacan junior guard Megan Walker.

“Megan is a big guard, so it forces our post to play a guard, and it kind of created a mismatch for us,” Fofana said.

During the game, “we were able to get stops at times, but we weren’t able to score,” Fofana said. “I counted maybe six possessions where we went down and got nothing out of it.”

Walker had 10 points at halftime, but her teammate, junior guard/forward Jaiden Morris had poured in 21, shooting 8-for-12 from the field.

Lady Bulldogs junior forward Amesha Miller had a tough battle under the hoop; she managed to score nine points in each half but had sub-par shooting percentages from the field and the line.

Monacan built on its lead in the third quarter, taking a 60-43 advantage into the final period.

During the regional semifinals, King’s Fork played without star junior guard Cydney Nichols, who was out with an ankle injury, but the Lady Bulldogs were pleased to have Nichols playing on Monday.

Unfortunately, “it didn’t carry over to what we expected,” Fofana said. “We were looking forward to having much more than what she did today, but I think her ankle still bothered her some.”

She finished with nine points.

Lady Bulldogs sophomore point guard Camary Harris added 10 points and seven rebounds but also struggled, with 10 turnovers.

In addition to 18 points, Miller added 10 rebounds.

Monacan’s Jaiden Morris ended up with 27 points, and Megan Walker had a big second half to finish with 23 points, 13 rebounds and five assists for the game. Junior point guard Alexandra Parson produced nine points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

The Lady Chiefs (28-1) play William Fleming High School in the state championship game on Wednesday.

King’s Fork finished the season with a 26-5 record and will return many key contributors for the 2016-17 campaign.

“This game will be a lot of motivation for the ones that are coming back,” Miller said. “We know that we have to work 10 times harder just to get further.”