2 Topples 1 in 4A Showdown

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Final - - #2 Heritage 70, #1 Nansemond
River 55:

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In a battle between #1 vs. #2 in the state in Group 4A,
the Heritage Hurricanes made the trip to Suffolk to take on the Nansemond River
Warriors with first place in the Ironclad Conference on the line.
style=> While the two teams are set to meet again
later this month in Newport News and could face off yet again the postseason,
the first round went in favor of Heritage, 70-55 as a third quarter burst
propelled the Hurricanes to a vital road victory.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Heritage, ranked #2 in the latest Top Ten in 4A after
opening the season at #1, now moves to 12-3 overall, 4-0 in conference play,
performing well in front of the near packed to capacity crowd at Nansemond

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"They love this atmosphere and you've got to love this
atmosphere. I just felt this crowd would
help us," stated Heritage Head Basketball Coach
normal'>Mike Gardner.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I've been talking to them all season long about I
didn't think we were playing with any passion.
They were passionate tonight.
That's how we were playing in the summer time.
style=> We played with a passion, a little swag,
unselfishly and I enjoyed watching my guys play."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It was a seesaw affair in the first half with several
lead changes and ties. Both teams
exchanged fast-break baskets and lay-ups with some jumpers sprinkled in, and
Heritage went to half-time up 34-31.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Nansemond River, which fell to 14-2 overall and 3-1 in
the Ironclad, scored the first two buckets of the second half and looked to be
on its way to seizing control. Heritage
had other ideas, and from there really raised their emotion and energy level to
a fever pitch.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We knew they were going to bring the intensity, so we
tried to come out harder than them and beat them off the jump," commented
Heritage senior power forward Corey
White. "This shows that if we put
our minds to it we can do it. We're a force to be reckoned with and I think we
made a statement."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Heritage put three players in double-figures, including
the game's high scorer in White. Junior
wing Romello
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Anderson added 13 and senior power
forward Troy Gibson chipped in
11. On the year, the Hurricanes have had
nine different players score in double-figures.
One of them, sophomore guard Jermaine
Marrow, is still out due to injury, though is expected to play in the
team's next meeting with Nansemond River.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Jermaine's brother, sophomore point guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Malik Marrow, handed out 10 assists and
made several key plays in transition during the third quarter spurt that put
Heritage in front for good.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Putting up strong numbers in the defeat for Nansemond
River was senior forward Marvin Branch.
style=> A linebacker on the football field, Branch
registered a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Player of the Game:
Heritage PF Corey White - -
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Named the Daily Press
Peninsula District Volleyball Player of the Year, White was not only showing
off his leaping ability and instincts, but was proving he can do a thing or two
on the hardwood when it comes to scoring.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The 6-foot-5 forward put up 20 points, 14 in the second
half, on 10-of-12 from the field. In the
paint he was a major factor as the game progressed, displaying better than
adequate footwork and some nifty maneuvers in the lane, even hitting a couple
of hook shots.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"His skill level is underrated.
style=> It's even underrated to him," stated Gardner,
who dug into him early in the third period with the Hurricanes trailing and
needing a jolt. "He was the target of my

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>White saved his best for the fourth quarter.
style=> That's when players can separate
themselves. In the eight-minute stanza
to conclude the ballgame, he scored 10 points, didn't miss a shot and corralled
four of his seven rebounds.



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Keys to Victory:

- - Furious Run:
39-36 with 5:09 remaining in the third quarter, Heritage ran off 16 unanswered
points and got buckets from multiple sources.
Anderson scored in transition, Gibson converted a three-point play, also
scored in the paint, Marrow knocked down a
three-pointer and also found two-sport athlete
normal'>Marcus Van Hook for a basket.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Given the stakes, it was the biggest blast of the
season for the Hurricanes to date.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"They scored the first two buckets of the [second] half
and right away we were behind. We just
weren't playing tough enough, so I called time-out.
style=> I said, 'hey guys, you're going to have to
toughen up.' From that point on, they
took care of it themselves," remarked Gardner.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Heritage turned its defense up a couple of notches,
holding the Warriors without a field goal over the last five minutes and forced
them into 12 straight misses.

#2 - - Contain NR's Two Primary Scorers:
"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Entering the contest, Nansemond River wings
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Devon Oakley and
normal'>Scott Spencer combined for over 35 points per game.
style=> Heritage focused its defensive attention on
the pair, both of whom went cold in the second half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We've been working on our defense all week and tried to
take away their two main guys," revealed White.
"Our main goal was to limit those two scorers and keep them off the
boards, and I think we achieved that goal tonight."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Although Heritage surprisingly got out-rebounded 45-33
by Nansemond River (credit Branch's 16
boards for the main reason why), Oakley
and Spencer were a combined 10-for-30 from the field.
style=> They totaled 22 points with Spencer scoring
in single-digits for the first time this season.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>To make matters worse for the Warriors, Oakley missed
on each of his three-point tries and Spencer failed to get to the free-throw
line once.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I credit Mello Anderson, Marcus Van Hook,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Michael Duncan,
normal'>Justin Fauntleroy and those guys.
They did an all-around good job," said Gardner.
style=> "Even Malik was over there from time to time
because we wanted to switch up things."

#3 - - Outside Shooting:
the Achilles heel or weakness of the Heritage basketball team through the first
chunk of the season was their inept outside shooting.
style=> In several games they didn't make a
three-pointer, and the absence of injured guards Duncan and Jermaine Marrow
made it even harder for them to convert from beyond the arc.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On Friday night, Heritage had no trouble against the
zone defense of the Warriors, draining a season-high six three-pointers - -
three by the aforementioned Duncan - - and shot a blistering 5-of-7 from long
distance in the first half. Their
previous high for 3's in a game was five, which they matched before the third
quarter even began.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Bang," Gardner chirped.
style=> The Hurricanes' Head Coach was confident that
eventually they would show the ability to knock down the outside jumpers and
they finally did in a crucial conference clash.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Meanwhile, the Warriors were 0-for-8 from behind the
arc in what was their worst perimeter shooting outing of the campaign.
style=> It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure
out that Heritage being +18 from three-point land
style=> was enormous in the 15-point victory,
especially after being minus 21 in that category just six days prior in a win
over Petersburg in the Sixth Annual Classic Presented by Cox
Sports. That's marked improvement.



none;text-underline:none'>Postgame Audio with Heritage Coach Mike Gardner

Final Stats:

Hurricanes 70:
style=> (12-3; 4-0)
Corey White - - 20Pts. (14Pts. 2nd Half), 10-12FG, 7Reb.
Anderson - - 13Pts. 4-12FG, 5-6FT, 7Reb. 3Ast. 3Stl.
Troy Gibson - - 11Pts. 4-8FG, 3-5FT, 8Reb.
Michael Duncan - - 9Pts. 3-7 3's, 2Reb.
Malik Marrow - - 7Pts. 3-9FG, 10Ast. 3Stl.

River Warriors 55:
style=> (14-2; 3-1)
Devon Oakley - - 14Pts. 6-17FG, 0-6 3's, 2-4FT, 8Reb. 3Ast. 2Stl
Marvin Branch - - 13Pts. 6-10FG, 16Reb. 3Stl.
Scott Spencer - - 8Pts. 4-13FG, 10Reb. 2Ast. 2Blk. 2Stl.
Daniel Wallace - - 4Pts. 2-5FG, 6Reb. 3Blk.



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
every Saturday from 10AM to Noon on
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, plus watch him on the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

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