KF has eyes set on championship

Published 9:35 pm Thursday, March 9, 2017

King’s Fork High School’s girls’ basketball team has a shot to make history this Friday when they take on Monacan for the 4A state championship today at Virginia Commonwealth University.

King’s Fork High School’s girls’ basketball team will play in its first state championship game Friday against Monacan. The game will be at Virginia Commonwealth University and will start at 6:30 p.m.
Caroline LaMagna photo

Thursday was the last day of practice for the 2016-2017 season, and the Lady Bulldogs were going through their usual routine. There was an extra pep in everybody’s step, and the intensity was high.

It was clear watching the Lady Bulldogs go through their final full practice that they know what’s at stake.

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This year’s group will be the first King’s Fork girls’ basketball team to play for a state championship in school history. No matter the outcome, the team already has accomplished something that has never been done before.

There is championship knowledge and experience for the Lady Bulldogs to utilize from players to coaches. Maurice Fofana, the Lady Bulldogs’ head coach, was a part of two state championship teams as a player at Nansemond River High School. He helped lead the Warriors to a championship in 1995, and the team returned the following year but lost. Nevertheless, Fofana knows what it feels like to be in that type of environment as a player, which helps him relate to his players on an even deeper level.

As a coach, Fofana has never coached in a state championship game before, but his colleague and fellow coach Josh Worrell has. Worrell, the boys’ coach at King’s Fork, has texted Fofana throughout the process and offered words of wisdom for the players at a practice earlier this week.

Junior starting point guard Camary Harris’s older brother Rakesh Harris was the starting point guard on the 2009 King’s Fork boys’ championship team. For her, this is a chance for her to uphold her family’s legacy.

The Lady Bulldogs are excited at the opportunity that lies ahead of them, and they’re ready to take advantage.

“This ring will not only be for us but for those who paved the way for us,” Harris said. “There is not one coach who deserves it more than ours. Our seniors have a chance to go out with a bang and set a standard for the upperclassmen.”

“Winning a ring would mean a lot,” senior Amesha Miller said. “The fact that we are a part of a team that went down in school history is great, and actually winning would be even greater.”

Everything is full throttle at practice, but even off the court the Lady Bulldogs keep their mind on the chance of a lifetime. Between seeing each other around school, group text messages and hanging out outside of school, the constant theme has been winning the championship.

Monacan has defeated King’s Fork in their past two meetings, and they are the reigning 4A state champions. King’s Fork knows they have their work cut out for them, and that’s a challenge they are ready to embrace.

“We are enjoying the moment,” Fofana said. “I want them to leave it all on the floor. That’s all you can ask for as a coach. If we do that, I can live with whatever the outcome is.”

The game begins at 6:30 p.m., and admission is $10. For those not able to attend the game, an online stream of the game will be available at www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/vhsl. A subscription is required.