NK pressure dominant in 87-34 conquest of Charles City
Round two of the annual Charles City-New Kent basketball rivalry tipped off Saturday night before a packed house inside New Kent’s gym. But most of the crowd didn’t stick around until the end.
The host Trojans dominated from the start in a contest where the outcome was never in doubt beyond the first quarter when the hosts opened a 25-4 lead. The Panthers could never close the gap in falling 87-34 in the non-district affair.
“I’ll bet [New Kent] shot 70 percent from the floor,” Charles City coach Brenner Carter said afterward.
Actually, the Trojans hit 58 percent in the first quarter and dipped just below the 50 percent mark in quarter two. But at the rate the Trojans were scoring, mostly off Panther turnovers, it just seemed that way.
Sixteen of the hosts’ 25 first quarter points resulted from turnovers and steals. The Trojans unleashed a smothering press designed to double-team, and sometimes triple-team, the ball. Rarely did Charles City get into its offensive set as Panther guards were pressured into frequent turnovers around the half-court stripe.
“We work on breaking the press at practice and know when the double-team comes to pass the ball to the open man in the middle,” Carter said. “We did that once or twice, but that was it.”
Charles City stayed in the game only briefly on Randall Hopkins’ basket that cut New Kent’s initial lead to 4-2. But the Panthers were unable to net another field goal until Hopkins scored again in the opening moments of the second quarter.
New Kent coach Ed Allen, meanwhile, was more than pleased with his team’s performance following a hard-fought loss on the road the night before to Bay Rivers District rival Poquoson.
“Our transition game was very good,” he said. “We got a lot of turnovers, moved the ball well, and got a lot of open shots.
“We played as a team, and we needed that coming off that five-point loss to Poquoson. Our problem is we haven’t played in so long,” he said, pointing to the recently concluded break for mid-year exams.
Charles City also came in on the heels of a district loss, dropping a Tri-Rivers decision on the road at Sussex.
“We lost last night and we played well, but not tonight,” Carter said. “We were backing up instead of attacking the basket. The offense we run works, but we just got away from it.”
Adam Otey was the first Trojan to find the touch from three-point range, sinking four of five shots from behind the arc to help extend New Kent’s lead to 31-7 in the second quarter. Steven Allen and Nick Sickal then warmed up, combining for five second quarter treys to help the hosts mount a 56-18 bulge at the half.
Charles City tried defensive variations, but nothing worked to slow the Trojan onslaught.
“We usually play zone, but we just couldn’t get out quick enough on their shooters,” Carter said.
Allen finished with 24 points while Otey poured in 17 to lead the Trojans, now 11-4. Sickal scored 13 followed by Dorrein Akrie’s eight, four each from Justin Williams, Kevin Chavis, and Paul Kearney, three apiece from Markene Jones, J.B. Berkley, and Darnell Fenton, and Michael Owens’ two.
Aaronde Williams’ 13 points topped Charles City, now 4-11. Hopkins finished with seven followed by three each from Kevin Wallace, Cetha Boone, and Cody Stewart, two apiece from Vannie Spruell and Trevor Jones, and one from Kevin Braxton.
The JV game proved more competitive as Charles City wiped out a 26-16 New Kent halftime lead to tie at 31-31 on a pair of Dominique Williams free throws with 6:18 left in the game. But New Kent scored the next five points and put the game out of reach on E.J. Gray’s three-point play with 3:30 to go on the way to a 49-41 win.
Gray’s 11 points led New Kent. Matt Fultz and Zach Jacobs each scored seven while Anthony Snipes totaled five, Chris Sickal, Neko Burson, and Justin Parsley added four each, Carter Gilland chipped in three, and Cory Dunn contributed one.
Wendell Jones’ 14 points led Charles City. Jeron Woodley tossed in 10 followed by Williams’ six, Dominic Jones’ four, two each from Xavier Wallace and Evan Adkins, and one apiece from Joshua New and Tevan Adkins.