King’s Fork falls short of title game
Published 10:14 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The Lady Bulldogs came up short in the state tournament with a loss Tuesday night to Lake Taylor High School.
The King’s Fork High School girls’ basketball team came one game short of returning to the state title game it lost in heartbreaking fashion last year. King’s Fork and Lake Taylor matched up in the Class 4 state semifinal game at Churchland High School, and the Lady Titans were victorious 57-38.
It was the second time the two teams had met in the past two weeks, and Lake Taylor won both matchups, though they won by only two points to win the regional championship. After one quarter of play, the Lady Bulldogs were in control with a slight 13-10 lead. In the second quarter, the teams traded the lead, but a late run by Lake Taylor at the end of the quarter put them up one at 24-23.
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“We played a good first half and stuck with our game plan,” Lady Bulldogs coach Maurice Fofana said.
The second half was the turning point in the game for the Lady Bulldogs. King’s Fork started getting away from what made it successful in the first half, and Lake Taylor began to build on its lead. After three quarters of play, they had a 39-29 lead. Lake Taylor did not look back in the fourth quarter, as they continued to force the Lady Bulldogs into uncharacteristic turnovers.
King’s Fork played what might be one of its worst halves of basketball this season. Fofana tried calling timeouts to stop runs from Lake Taylor, but King’s Fork ultimately couldn’t regroup.
“Some things we talked about doing, we didn’t do,” Fofana said. “We got away from some things we did well in the first half, and it dug us a hole we could not get out of.”
“The turnovers were hurting us,” junior Nylah Young said. “We just couldn’t get going in the second half. It was a really bad time to have a bad game. We were just off and couldn’t recover.”
Fofana was surprised and shocked by the way things played out in the second half. They were outscored 28-15.
“I had never seen that happen to a team I coached here,” Fofana said. “We just unraveled and couldn’t put it back together. We felt like we were the better team coming, but sometimes the best team doesn’t always win.”
Next season should be another strong season for the Lady Bulldogs, as they return Young and Neecole Brown, among others. However, they will graduate all-district and all-region guard Camary Harris along with Lydia Goolsby and Brianna Copeland. After the game, Fofana said he couldn’t pick one thing, in particular, to say to his team in a moment like that with seniors playing their last game. He did let his seniors know how proud he was of them and what they have to look forward to in the future.
King’s Fork finished 22-4 this season.
Lake Taylor 57, King’s Fork 38
LT—Poole 17, Doster 10, Quinerly 8, Hundley 8, Gilliam 7, Johnson 5, Spratley 2
KF—Young 21, Goolsby 7, Harris 6, County 3, Banks 1