Tigers leash Bulldogs

Published 8:23 pm Saturday, January 7, 2017

King’s Fork High School had a tough challenge Friday against an Oscar Smith team that came into the game with only one loss.

The Bulldogs and Oscar Smith provided a well-played game with high intensity from both teams. Oscar Smith came out ahead by a score of 64-54 but didn’t take the lead until the second half.

At halftime, the Bulldogs had a one-point lead, 19-18. James Hatton had seven points in the first half to lead the way for the Bulldogs. Defensively the Bulldogs did a good job of limiting the Tigers offensively.

Email newsletter signup

“We did a very good job executing out plan defensively,” Bulldogs coach Josh Worrell said.

During the second half, the game remained back and forth, but momentum ultimately swung the Tigers’ way. In the second half, they outscored King’s Fork, 46-35. Much of the Tigers’ second-half surge can be credited to the free-throw line.

Oscar Smith shot one free throw in the first half and 27 in the second. Even so, the game was still within two possessions for the Bulldogs with two minutes of play left in the fourth.

“There was a couple of possessions in the second half where we didn’t execute like we were supposed to,” Worrell said. “They made some buckets that propelled them to extend the lead, and we couldn’t come back from it.”

“Overall we played decent,” Hatton said. “We couldn’t take advantage of some opportunities. We are a possession or two from being a great basketball team.”

King’s Fork now holds an 8-4 record. Oscar Smith is regarded as one of the best boys’ basketball teams in Hampton Roads, and the Bulldogs showed Friday that they have the means to take down good teams.

“I told them in the locker room that we have multiple opportunities to win a game against what was considered an elite opponent,” Worrell said. “We are one or two plays away from being a really good basketball program if we continue to focus on what we need to do. We will get better if we continue to stay disciplined within our expectations.”

Raemaad Wright led the way for the Bulldogs with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Hatton added 16.

“If we limit teams to one shot and limit our turnovers, we’ll be fine,” Wright said. “We have the assets to be a very good team, and we have a very good coach.”

King’s Fork will take on Deep Creek at home Tuesday at 7 p.m., weather permitting.