Wildcats Edge KF, Stay Atop the SED

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Great Bridge Wildcats took a step closer towards
winning a second consecutive Southeastern District regular title on Thursday
night, edging the King's Fork Bulldogs 54-50.
That improves Great Bridge's record to 14-2 overall, 12-0 in the
Southeastern District.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Great Bridge trailed by as many as nine points in the
first half before going on a 16-3 run in the third quarter to grab control and
never relinquished the lead once they got it in the second half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Needing to rally is nothing new for Great Bridge, which
has become accustomed to doing that in the month of January, and they knew taking
on a Bulldogs team that had won 10 in a row before Tuesday night's home loss to
Nansemond River would pose some challenges.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We've been behind the last four or five district
games. Oscar Smith had us down, Western
Branch had us down, King's Fork had us down.
style=> We've been through the grinder, and as I told
them after the game, this down the line is going to help us, although it's not
going to help my heart right now," remarked Great Bridge Head Basketball Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Gary Obenour

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Josh [
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Worrell] does a great job at King's
Fork and those kids play so hard. It's
no secrets, we know what each other do and it's a tough, physical to the end
kind of game. Both games were like that
and it's whoever makes the least amount of mistakes, and in the second half we
probably made a little less than they did."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>That certainly was Great Bridge in the third quarter
when they went on their run as they created eight King's Fork turnovers.
style=> The Bulldogs had only five turnovers in the
other three periods combined.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Wildcats star junior guard
normal'>Marcus Evans, who came in averaging 18.2 points per game, tops
among all Southeastern District players, performed much better in the second
half as well. Evans had only four points
on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half, waiting until the 1:07 mark of the second
quarter to get his first points.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Down the stretch, Evans came alive, striking with a
couple of critical mid-range jumpers that kept King's Fork from going back in
front. Evans scored 10 of his game-high
14 points over the game's final two quarters of play.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This team has so much willpower.
style=> We've been in this position a lot, we have a
lot of experience and I have confidence in every one of these guys that when we
get in the fourth quarter against a team and it's close, we're going to put it
all on the line and get that win," Evans went on to say.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We're behind each other 100% and in the locker room at
half-time, my teammates encouraged me and told me to keep attacking."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>His teammates were there to offer plenty of help,
too. Off the bench,
normal'>Aaron Ferguson chipped in six points in the third quarter and
forward Kaleaf
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Sadler grabbed three boards and
blocked a shot. On the interior, center
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Steve Bienlien was
quite a factor with eight rebounds and four blocks.
style=> On the perimeter,
normal'>Byron Williams and Andre
Banks combined for 25 points and four three-pointers with Williams
collecting eight rebounds.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Especially pivotal was Banks' shot.
style=> With King's Fork trailing 47-46, he dropped
in his third and final three-pointer of the night with 35 seconds to go to
stretch the Wildcats' lead.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I felt it. That
was in my corner," remarked Banks. "When
Marcus drives, teams collapse on him and I just sit there and wait for the

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>While the star power has been there for Great Bridge in
recent seasons with Briante Weber (VCU),
class=SpellE>Taj Owens (Radford) and now Evans, being recruited already
by Old Dominion among other D-1 programs, the role players have also been
essential in Great Bridge's success.
They are carving out their niche and getting better at what they do as
the season goes along.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We talk about that constantly and it's an ongoing
process," Obenour said.
style=> "Everyone likes to score, everyone likes to be
in the forefront, and really when you make a team the hardest part is selecting
the kids. We select the right kids, they
understand their role and they all fit in."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Banks, a senior on last year's district title winning
team that suffered a narrow loss to Kecoughtan in the
regional quarterfinals at the Norfolk Scope, doesn't want to go through the
heartache again of coming up short of their regional and state title goals.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I don't want to go through that again," Banks said.
style=> "It's just tough."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>This might be Great Bridge's best team yet in the
class=SpellE>Obenour era. Another
tight win over a district contender has their belief only strengthening of what
they can do come playoff time.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"A win like this builds team chemistry, character,
everything," believes Evans. "It lets us
know that when we get in touch games, we're more than ready to play together
and be able to fight through things.
When we get into the district tournament and hopefully make it to the
Scope, games like these will have us prepared for what we see."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>King's Fork, which got 12 points apiece from
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Rod Parrett and
normal'> Smith, drops to 11-5 overall and 8-4 in the district.

href="">Postgame Audio with
Great Bridge Coach Gary Obenour


Bridge 54:
Marcus Evans - - 14Pts. 5-12FG, 3-5FT 7Reb. 2Ast.
Andre Banks - - 13Pts. 4-7FG, 3-5 3's, 4Reb.
Byron Williams - - 12Pts. 4-10FG, 3-7FT, 8Reb. 2Stl
Aaron Ferguson - - 6Pts. 1-5FG, 4-4FT
Mark Madison - - 5Pts. 2-6FG, 2Ast. 2Stl.
Steve Bienlien - - 4Pts. 2-5FG, 8Reb.
class=GramE>2Ast. 4Blk.

Fork 50:
Jacorey Smith - - 12Pts. 6-12FG, 2Reb. 3Ast. 4Stl
Rod Parrett - - 12Pts. 4-10FG, 2-5 3's
Donte Ralph - - 10Pts. 3-9FG, 4-6FT, 8Reb. 3Stl
Akanni White - - 8Pts. 2-6FG, 3-6FT, 4Ast. 3Stl
Byron Taylor - - 5Pts. 7Reb. 3Ast. 2Blk. 2Stl.



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
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