Kecoughtan Wins at Western Branch

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Final - - #6 Kecoughtan
71, Western Branch 67:

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A re-match of last year's regional quarterfinal matchup
at the Norfolk Scope, the Kecoughtan Warriors won a
6A-South Conference 2 road tilt over the Western Branch Bruins, 71-67 on
Thursday night. Kecoughtan
led by as many as 19 before the Bruins scored 32 in the final quarter to make
things much tighter at the end.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After committing only two turnovers in the third
quarter, the Warriors turned it over six times in the third period.
style=> Fortunately for Kecoughtan,
they built a large enough lead to survive.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"In the fourth quarter, Coach always tells us no turnovers
and I put that on myself," stated Kecoughtan junior
point guard Marcell
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Haskett.
style=> "We didn't do that like we were supposed to
at the end of the game and it was closer that it should've been.
style=> We have to keep playing defense, cut down on
turnovers and buy in as a team."

and 6-foot-4 senior wing Brandon Tabb
both entered the week averaging over 20 points per game and were the main cogs
offensively. Tabb scored seven points
during a 15-2 run in the second quarter the lead to double-figures before

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>What made Coach Ivan
Thomas of Kecoughtan happy was to see how intense
his team defended for stretches, creating nine turnovers in the first
half. Against the Bruins' 3-2 matchup
zone, the Warriors made 5-of-13 from three-point land in the opening half, and
didn't settle for low-percentage shots over the final two quarters.
style=> They made 2-of-4 on 3's during the second
half, making a concerted effort to push the pace and attack the basket.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This is a very tough place to play.
style=> Early in the second half, I thought we
stretched the lead. We did by getting
stops, getting back [in transition] and got some buckets in transition," stated

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I just hope we can continue to get better.
style=> It seems like we're getting better each game.
style=> It's a blue-collar group and I'm pleased with
the guys."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With the win, Kecoughtan
moved to 11-5 overall, 3-1 in conference competition.
style=> They stay one game back of Woodside in the
conference standings. Meanwhile, Western
Branch dropped to 8-7 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
style=> They lost six of their last seven going into
a conference contest with Bethel on Friday.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In defeat for the Bruins, junior guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Nigel Riberio,
who came in leading all of Tidewater in scoring around 25 points per game,
finished with 28 points. He scored 22 in
the second half.



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Player of the Game:
Kecoughtan PG Marcell
Haskett - -
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Class of 2015 prospect
with an offer from Hampton University and strong interest from Loyola and Mount
St. Mary's is the lone returning starter from last year's squad that won the
Peninsula District and reached the State Tournament for a second consecutive
season. Gone are Rajay
Bullock (Providence) and Greg Alexander (East Carolina), meaning the Warriors'
floor general has had to assume a larger role alongside the likes of Tabb,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Nick Carrera,
normal'>Will Askew and Damian

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Considered a very good, harassing on-ball defender,
class=SpellE>Haskett recorded three steals.
style=> Where he made his impact most in this game
though was offensively, scoring 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting and displayed
improving range and touch on his three-point shot, where he converted 4-of-5.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I've been working on that in the summer,"
class=SpellE>Haskett said of his outside jumper.
style=> "But it's not all about scoring for me.
style=> We've got Damian, Will and Tabb.
style=> I'm just here to do whatever it takes to win.
style=> Whoever is on that night, we're going to



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

- - Supporting Cast Helps Headliners:
style='font-size:9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> put
up major numbers and so too did Tabb, enjoying a breakout year.
style=> He scored 22 points, despite a semi-off night
shooting from long range, and grabbed seven rebounds while blocking five shots.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Tabb has come along well.
style=> He's definitely improved over the summer and
is a big part of this team," admitted Thomas.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Those two have carried Kecoughtan
for much of the season. What will go a
long way towards determining how far they go is their supporting cast around those
two. Against the Bruins, the likes of
Askew, Carrera and Knowlin supplied excellent

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Askew tallied nine assists.
style=> He was able to often find an open cutter,
shooter or man on the break.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Will is the unsung hero.
style=> He handles the ball, plays good defense and knows
where to be to find these guys. He's
kind of the glue that holds it together," believes Thomas.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The other tough guy inside is Nick Carrera.
style=> He's an unselfish guy, rebounds, a football
kid, drew two charges tonight and does all the dirty work."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Carrera's five points and five boards probably don't
illustrate his importance to the team.
class=SpellE>Kecoughtan doesn't have the length, size or depth they've
had in recent years, so the two-sport athlete that also plays football is
counted on to provide heavy minutes and do so without getting in serious foul

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The future looks mighty bright for Knowlin,
who delivered two hammer drunks and nearly posted a double-double with 13
points and seven boards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Knowlin is only a sophomore
and he will be a player in this region," said Thomas.
style=> "No question."

#2 - - Control Ribeiro:
style=> The Warriors didn't do that well in the
second half, but kept him in check during the first half.
style=> By intermission, he scored only six points on
3-of-9 shooting with no free-throw attempts.
Better than that for Kecoughtan was that he
only dished out one assist.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We were trying to take him out of the game and we did
a great job for a while," commented Haskett, a
teammate of Ribeiro's this past spring and summer on
the AAU circuit. "Our motto on defense
is to hunt."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It took Ribeiro 22 shots to
get his 28 points, and although he would go a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul
line in the second half, Western Branch was playing from behind.
style=> Their crowd stayed quiet most of the night,
and the Warriors made it difficult for the Bruins to get on track offensively
until the closing minutes.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We played really good defense early.
style=> I thought we were able to control Nigel early,
which helped us get the lead," Thomas added.
"We were rotating and were everywhere."

#3 - - Transition Points:
style=> Some coaches call them energy points or
easy baskets. They are those run-outs
that teams score on and keep a defense from having a chance to set up because
they happen so fast. Kecoughtan
had seven three-pointers and three dunks, plus a handful of lay-ups and buckets
underneath the goal.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We knocked down some shots, Damian Knowlin
got off inside and handled their typical 1-2-2 zone pressure," remarked Thomas,
whose team made 45% of its field goal attempts.
"They're going to play a zone and I think it's tough to play a zone since
we shoot the ball so well. We moved the
ball well."



none;text-underline:none'>Postgame Audio with Kecoughtan
Coach Ivan Thomas

Final Stats:

115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> Warriors 71:
(11-5; 3-1)
Marcell Haskett - - 27Pts.
9-16FG, 4-5 3's, 5-7FT, 6Reb. 5Ast. 3Stl.
Brandon Tabb - - 22Pts. 8-18FG, 3-8 3's, 3-4FT, 7Reb. 5Blk. 3Stl
Damian Knowlin - -
style=> 13Pts. 6-12FG, 7Reb. 2Stl.
Nick Carrera - - 5Pts. 1-3FG, 3-4FT, 5Reb.
Will Askew - - 3Pts. 1-5FG, 4Reb. 9Ast.

Branch Bruins 67:
style=> (8-7; 2-2)
Nigel Ribeiro - - 28Pts. (22Pts. 2nd Half), 9-22FG,
2-8 3's, 8-8FT, 10Reb. 3Ast. 2Stl.
Aaron Johnson - - 12Pts. 5-11FG, 3Reb. 3Stl.
Kishawn Harris - - 10Pts. 4-8FG, 2-5 3's, 4Reb. 3Ast
Trevon Warren - - 4Pts. 2-9FG, 9Reb.
class=GramE>2Ast. 3Blk. 2Stl.



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";
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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
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
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