King’s Fork advances to state semifinals

Published 9:55 pm Friday, March 3, 2017

King’s Fork High School girls’ basketball team advanced to the 4A state semifinals after a 56-47 win over Carroll County High School on Thursday. The Lady Bulldogs will play Millbrook in the semifinals Saturday for a state championship game berth.

King’s Fork and Carroll County met in the same round last year, and the Lady Bulldogs were able to advance then as well.

“As far as a team, I think we did a good job competing,” Lady Bulldogs coach Maurice Fofana said. “We didn’t play our best, but we played hard, and that is what got us the win.”

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During the first quarter of play, the game was close between both teams. The Lady Bulldogs led for much of the quarter. With the score tied at 15 with just a few seconds left to go in the quarter, a three by Carroll County left the game tied at 18.

In the second quarter, Carroll County swung momentum back their way and went into the half with a 31-27 lead. At halftime, Fofana told his team they needed to keep working hard and to play better defense in the second half.

King’s Fork opened the third quarter with a 15-2 run, taking the lead back. The Lady Bulldogs were up 43-39 after three-quarters of play. After exchanging baskets in the fourth quarter, King’s Fork was able to stay ahead and win the game.

“We defended much better in the second half, and that’s kind of what changed the game around for us,” Fofana said. “A lot of the loose balls, we got more of those in the second half.”

Camary Harris had 12 points, and Amesha Miller added 11 points and nine rebounds.

“We have been in situations before where we had to come back,” Miller said. “We knew what we had to do to win, and our defense helped us win.”

With a win, King’s Fork moves on to play Millbrook in the 4A state semifinals. They defeated Midlothian 55-45 in the quarterfinals. Millbrook currently has a 29-1 record and are the No. 1 seed on King’s Fork’s side of the bracket. The Lady Bulldogs are the No. 2 seed.

Fofana says the Lady Bulldogs won’t change their game plan. They believe if they continue to defend well and play hard, that gives them a good chance of advancing to the 4A state championship.

“The key things for us will be defending and playing hard,” Fofana said. “We are going to make shots and finish around the basket. We have to stay focused.”

Fofana believes that the only problem may be not overlooking what’s in front of them.

“We have to take it play by play and game by game,” Fofana said. “I think that may have been a bit of an issue against Carroll County. We may have overlooked them, which made it bit tougher for us. However, the girls are locked in, and they are on a mission.”

King’s Fork will play Millbrook at the Salem Civic Center at 3 p.m. Saturday.