Warriors fall to Western Branch

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Nansemond River High School boys’ basketball team traveled to Western Branch High School on Tuesday to take on a 7-0 Bruins team. Warriors coach Ed Young knew that the Warriors had to come with their best to pull an upset — and they almost did.

The Warriors lost 68-60 in a close game. The Bruins needed extra effort to secure the win. BriQuan Harrell of Western Branch led all scorers with 40 points. For much of four quarters, the Warriors competed well.

In the first quarter, NRHS led 19-17. Harrell did much of the work for the Bruins in the first quarter, with 13 of their 17 points. Gerard Stringer had 10 in the first quarter on 80 percent shooting to lead the way for the Warriors in the first quarter.

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“Those two kids kind of put on a little bit of a show in the first,” Young said. “That first quarter was back and forth, and it was well played by both teams.”

During the second quarter, the Bruins swung momentum back their way, outscoring Nansemond River 14-13. At halftime, the Warriors were up 32-31. Stringer had 15 points at the half to lead the Warriors, while Jeremiah Lewis came off of the bench to add six points.

Both teams scored 13 points in the third quarter. Nansemond River did a better job on Harrell, limiting him to five points in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Warriors held a five-point lead with 2:42 seconds to go in the game.

Turnovers hurt the Warriors, and the Bruins were able to capitalize on most of them. With 1:04 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Warriors were down by one point. Ultimately turnovers were the deciding factor for NRHS in the fourth quarter. As a team, they had nine turnovers in the first three quarters combined. However, in the last quarter, the team had 11 turnovers alone. The Bruins’ free-throw shooting iced the game for them down the stretch.

“I’m encouraged, because we played the best team to this point and we had opportunities to win,” Young said. “It was a good effort, and overall our best game played so far. The turnovers hurt us.”

Stringer finished the game with 20 points and eight rebounds. Lewis finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The Warriors shot 53 percent from the field. Western Branch had four players that averaged double figures, and NRHS allowed only two to reach the mark.

“The kids responded well,” Young said. “We were coming off a game where we turned the ball over 30 times at home. To come back against a ranked and undefeated team like Western Branch and play like we did, I’m encouraged.”

Next, Nansemond River will play Great Bridge at 7 p.m. Friday.