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February 15, 2012Sign up for premium access to VirginiaPreps.com with a 7-day free trial! The VIP Board provides the latest in recruiting updates plus in-depth top prospects lists for football, basketball and baseball!
Knowing what happened last year in the Southeastern District Tournament quarterfinals, the King's Fork Bulldogs were eager and anxious to show they wouldn't fall victim to the upset bug again.? Early in the fourth quarter, it looked like they might as #6 seed Indian River gave King's Fork all they could handle, and the Braves took a brief 40-38 lead.
King's Fork was able to recover quickly and closed on an 18-4 run to prevail, 59-46.? It was a much different, more satisfying ending for the Bulldogs than one February when they were a #2 seed and lost to #7 seed Lakeland, their Suffolk rival.? This time, the Bulldogs don't have that disappointment and are headed to regionals.
"We read an article about it today before we came out to get dressed.? It was about how we didn't capitalize," revealed King's Fork Head Basketball Coach Josh Worrell.? "I said to them if you don't want to have that same feeling again, you're not going to go out and think the game is given to you.? That team is going to bust their tail because nobody wants their season to end and we have to fight for 32 minutes."
King's Fork (16-7) started off by the scoring the game's first eight points, but Indian River crept back in and made it a one-point deficit at 18-17 with 3:07 to play.? The Bulldogs got timely three-point makes from Rod Parrett, including a go-head bucket in the fourth quarter, to keep the Braves at bay until the third quarter rolled around.? That's when turnovers started to hurt KF.
In the first five minutes of the third period, King's Fork had five turnovers and Indian River (9-14) took advantage.? Down a deuce in the closing moments of the third quarter, Akanni White came up with a key steal and bucket to knot the score at 38 going into the fourth quarter.
Indian River's leading scorer coming in was guard Darryl Fuller at 15.9 points per game.? He's also the Braves' top rebounder at over five a contest.? Fuller was held to just six points on 2-of-14 shooting and two rebounds.
"That was one of our key focal points here during the week of the practice," Worrell said of defending Fuller.? "We examined what he liked to do off the dribble when he catches and shoots, and I think our kids did a great job with that tonight."?
After getting in the double bonus at the start of the fourth quarter, King's Fork understood, particularly seniors like Army signee Zach Johnson and guard C.J. Hailes, that it was imperative they kept the Braves off the foul line.? That they did; committing only one foul in the fourth quarter in a stretch of 4:35, while Johnson, Hailes and others executed on offense.
The King's Fork defense put the clamps on Indian River, which shot just 3-for-21 from three-point land and got a good number of its points on second chance opportunities or in the first three quarters at the foul line.
?"We really practice being able to defend without fouling, so it was big to execute that tonight in the fourth quarter," said Johnson, who got some one-on-one matchups in the post that were favorable.? "That's what I like to call my time to eat, and get and ones."
Johnson recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.? Parrett chipped in 11 points.? Hailes and Trevon Wiggins had nine points apiece.? In its valiant effort to pull the upset, Indian River was led by Dwight Cherry's 14 points.
Next up for King's Fork will be a date with Nansemond River (18-4) on Thursday in the Southeastern District Tournament semifinals.? They split two regular season meetings with each winning on the other's home floor.? This time, the winner will grab no worse than a #3 seed, and possibly earn the #2 seed for next week's regional playoffs.
Matthew Hatfield serves as AAA State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network.? Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related info and updates.? To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him on the VirginiaPreps.com Hour every Saturday at 11AM on ESPN Radio 94.1 and watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.