football

Shorthanded Warriors Rally on the Road

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"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Second place in the Southeastern District was on the
line on Tuesday night when the Nansemond River Warriors made the trip to
Chesapeake to take on the Western Branch Bruins.
style=> The winner move to 6-1 in district play, while
the loser would drop to 5-2 in the league, tied for third place with King's
Fork and serious damaging hopes of catching Great Bridge for the regular season
title.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Down 11 at the half, Nansemond River found itself in
major trouble, especially considering they were missing three vital parts of
their team in junior center Daniel
Wallace (ankle injury), sophomore swingman
normal'>Scott Spencer (hand injury) and reserve guard
normal'>William Goodman (flu). They were
in jeopardy of dropping a second straight.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Nansemond River weathered the storm and fought through
the adversity to claim a 56-51 victory over the Bruins.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We played horrible in the first half and I didn't know
if we could get back in the game. We
turned the ball over, weren't rebounding, not committed to any defense that we
were playing and we were switching defenses to try to keep them off balance
because they've got quickness as well as shooters.
style=> I blacked out really," said Nansemond River
Head Basketball Coach Ed Young afterwards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Much like when we played Great Bridge, my worst fears
were realized, except this time I was more alarmed because we weren't committed
to either end of the floor. Against
Great Bridge, we weren't committed on the offensive end and we rushed
things. That led to us losing people
defensively because we don't get a chance to play up-tempo pressure, which we're
good at, or what I like to call confusion ball."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Coming off an 18-point loss at home against Great
Bridge, the Warriors turned to the tandem of 6-foot-5 senior forward
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Ed Drew and 6-foot-3 junior guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Devon Oakley.
style=> Drew delivered with excellent stretches in
the first and third quarters, while Oakley finished things off in the fourth
period.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Even though we lost against Great Bridge, we used this
game to take everything out on them and we played together as a team," stated
Drew, facing one of the Southeastern District's better big men in
class=SpellE>Jashad
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Jamison.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Having recorded five double-doubles coming in, Jamison
was effective blocking shots with six.
But he didn't get in double-figures in points or rebounds, posting four
and eight respectively. Drew, however,
did as he wound up with 24 points, 12 boards and proved to be a force
defensively with seven rejections.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Jashad's a good player, but
if I have to take it to him or anyone 1-on-1, even a shot blocker, I know I
have to do that no matter how many blocks a player gets," Drew went on to
comment. "I have the post moves to do
it, and if I get the ball in the right spot, I feel like I can be successful."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After being scoreless for three quarters of play,
Oakley shined in the fourth and final quarter.
In seven minutes, Oakley scored all 16 of his points and even made a key
steal, one of five on the night, to help the Warriors turn a deficit into a
lead.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I felt like we had to do it as a team, but they kept
feeding me the ball, I kept scoring and fortunately everything worked out,"
said Oakley, one of the Southeastern District's breakout players this year.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Young was pleased to see his team, which starts only
two seniors and graduated a bevvy of seniors from last year, show some coming
of age on the road in a challenging environment against an improved Bruins
squad. He also liked how Drew and Oakley
bounced back from lackluster performances just four days earlier.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It was the worst game of Drew's career Friday and he came
back strong. We rode him like crazy and
he's absolutely worn out. Ed was
outstanding and we needed a step up player to go alongside him, and Devon was tremendous
in the fourth quarter," Young added.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Devon has been one of our workhorse guys offensively and
a stat sheet filler. I guess he just
wanted to wait until the fourth quarter and he certainly woke up at the right
time for us. We did throw out some
things in the second half and rolled the dice, but the bottom line was the kids
made it all work. You put the games in
the kids' hands and they really delivered."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Defensively, the Warriors were able to contain Western
Branch's hot outside shooting, which nailed three of their final four from
beyond the arc before the half. The
Bruins were held to just 16 points in the second half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We knew that they're mainly a first half team, so if
we tightened up in the second half and get them to turn the ball over we'd have
a chance to win," Oakley added.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Senior guard
normal'>Demonte Burns scored
18 to lead Western Branch followed by 13 points for sophomore guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Nigel Riberio.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Nansemond River heads into Thursday night's final home
game before the holidays with a 6-1 overall record.
style=> They take on Norview (2-6) in a game that
will have special meaning to Young considered he coached at Norview from
1988-94, plus the Head Coach of the Pilots,
normal'>Jonathan Wilson, is a former player of his.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
Stats:

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Nansemond
River 56:
normal'>
Ed Drew - - 24Pts. 9-18FG, 6-8FT, 12Reb. 7Blk.
Devon Oakley - - 16Pts. (all 4thQ), 7-16FG, 1-4FT, 10Reb. 5Stl
class=GramE>.
Khalil Carroll - - 10Pts. 3-9FG, 3-5FT, 5Reb. 4Ast. 3Stl.
Kendric Washington - - 4Pts. 2-4FG, 9Reb. 3Ast.

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Western
Branch 51:
normal'>
Demonte Burns - - 18Pts. 6-16FG, 5-7FT, 6Reb. 3Ast
class=GramE>.
Nigel Riberio - - 13Pts. 5-14FG, 2-6 3's, 9Reb. 2Ast
class=GramE>.
Desmond Johnson - - 12Pts. 6-15FG, 4Reb.
Jashad Jamison - - 4Pts. 2-9FG, 8Reb. 6Blk.

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>

style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>
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
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Network. Check out
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updates. To contact Matthew, please
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