Bulldogs sweep series with rival

Published 7:33 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018

King’s Fork High School defeated the Warriors twice to take the season series.

The Bulldogs have yet to lose to a rival Suffolk team, though they have Lakeland High School one more time on their schedule. However, the Bulldogs picked up a 64-45 win over Nansemond River High School Friday night.

The game was completely different from the team’s first matchup. It was a gritty, hard-fought game just like rival games are expected to be. King’s Fork was barely able to squeeze the win out in overtime last time.

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But this time, the Bulldogs tried their best not to keep the game close for the possibility of another dog fight.

“We played inspired,” Bulldogs coach Rick Hite said. “We may not have always played smart, but we played with passion, and we played hard. I think both teams showed that out there.”

Hite knew that the game was going to come to who could make the right plays at the right time. King’s Fork got out on Nansemond River in the first game, and the Warriors fought back, forcing the game into overtime. This time around, knowing what Nansemond River was capable of, he didn’t want his team to be settling for shots.

“We learned from the first game to try to get better looks,” Hite said. “I felt for the most part in the second half we did that and were able to keep them at a good distance.”

With the postseason nearing, the Bulldogs feel they have caught a good rhythm. They know taking care of the basketball and playing smarter will be key for them if they want to make a postseason run.

“One thing that will be really helpful for us is if we lock in defensively going forward,” Hite said. “Sometimes you can have an off night, but defense travels. When you are having a bad shooting night, defense will keep you in the game.”

James Hatton led the Bulldogs Friday night with 25 points. He credited his teammates and coaches for getting him out of a recent shooting slump. Mike Kindred added 10 points.

“We are in a really good position with the regular season coming to an end,” Hatton said. “We are getting better every day.”

For the Warriors, Gerard Stringer led with 12 points.

King’s Fork will host Lakeland at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Nansemond River will head to Hickory High School at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

King’s Fork 64, Nansemond River 45

KF—Hatton 25, Kindred 10, Bailey 8, Boyette 6, Lewis 5, Mason 4, Woodson 2, Dunn 2, Wilson 2

NR—Stringer 12, Fatherly 11, Lewis 10, Payne 4, Hale 4, Chatman 3, Boone 1