Warriors fall in buzzer-beater

Published 8:17 pm Saturday, January 7, 2017

Grassfield High School sank a three-point buzzer-beater to take down the Warriors from Nansemond River High School on Friday.

The NRHS boys’ basketball team was on the road for the dramatic showdown, which ended with Grassfield’s Caleb Dawkins sinking the three-pointer to give his team the 61-59 win.

The Warriors failed to put up their best effort during the first half. They lacked energy, and Grassfield took advantage, leading 40-25 on 53-percent shooting at the end of the half. Nansemond River shot just 33 percent for the half.

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But the second half belonged to the Warriors, as they outscored Grassfield 34-21. The Warriors improved shooting accuracy to nearly 48 percent, and Grassfield went cold in the second half, making just 30 percent of their shots.

Nansemond River took a four-point lead with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter. But a couple of turnovers by the Warriors provided an opportunity for the Grizzlies.

The Warriors were able to get the ball back and had a chance to put the game away by sinking two free throws in a one-and-one situation. But with 4.8 seconds left on the clock, the Warriors missed the front end of a one-and-one with the score at 59-58.

The Grizzlies’ Caleb Dawkins, got the rebound, raced down the side and launched a three-pointer just two dribbles past half court, winning the game for Grassfield. Dawkins finished the game with 15 points and the game winner.

After making five out of six three-pointers in first half, the Grizzlies made the winner in the second.

This is Nansemond River’s first loss to Grassfield, and it leaves the Warriors with a 1-12 for the season.

“We didn’t come out with energy,” NRHS coach Ed Young said. “We were not fired up. We started off slow and had to fight our way back. We can’t do that. That has been a recurring theme for us this season.”

Josh Hale and Jeremiah Lewis each had 13 points to lead the Warriors. Lewis added eight rebounds. Gerard Stringer had 10 points and six rebounds. Dy’Quan McGhee led the Warriors in rebounding with 10.

“We just have to come out with more energy,” Hale said. “We need to play like we have a chip on our shoulder. We have a good team; we just didn’t show it in the first half.”

“We need to be able to begin the game with lots of intensity and play throughout the whole game,” Lewis added.

Nansemond River will not play again until Jan. 18, at home, when they take on Gloucester high school to start Conference 10 play.