Poquoson pulls away in 3rd quarter, escapes with win
Midway through the third quarter, New Kent’s Lady Trojans had recovered from a slow start offensively and had climbed back into the game against Poquoson’s visiting Islanders, one of the preseason favorites to win the Bay Rivers District girls basketball title.
Eleven minutes into the game, the hosts netted their first field goal. Shooting woes, however, were displaced by solid defense that kept the Islanders from pulling away. What had been a double-digit Poquoson lead shrank to six at 23-17 when Jordan Arrington sank a three-point shot at the 4:40 mark of the third period.
But the Islanders responded with an 11-2 run to create breathing room before the third quarter closed. In the end, the visitors escaped with a 55-30 win to keep their district record intact at 3-0.
The Dec. 9 loss dropped New Kent to 0-3 in the district and 1-3 overall, but the outcome failed to disappoint Lady Trojan coach Tom Gates.
“The first thing I told the girls in the locker room is it doesn’t matter what the final score was,” he said. “I told them I’m very proud of them and we’ve just got to keep on working. We may not be able to score a lot of points, but if we keep on playing defense like we did tonight, we have a chance to win.”
New Kent missed all eight of its first quarter shots from the floor, but the Islanders failed to capitalize against the Lady Trojan defense, sinking just two of 10. A pair of Nikki Jones free throws got New Kent on the scoreboard with almost six minutes gone in the first quarter, but her effort knotted the game at 2-2.
Poquoson gradually built a 13-2 advantage before Tyler Savage’s drive past a pair of defenders netted New Kent’s first field goal. The hosts connected on three of their last four field goal tries before the half and opened the third quarter with three-for-six shooting capped by Arrington’s trey. But the Islanders built a 34-19 lead late in third quarter and pulled away from there.
“We work on shooting every day in practice, and it’s just a matter of getting the shots to fall,” Gates said. “We just have a lot of balance on this team. There’s no one go-to person for scoring.”
Arrington finished with seven points while Savage and Meghan Gumbs each scored six. Jones added five followed by Jalesa Johnson’s four and Fanandra Randall’s two. Poquoson’s Kelly Halverson tossed in a game-high 15.
In the JV game, New Kent cut Poquoson leads to three on a trio of occasions in the second half, the last time with 1:06 left in the game, but could not get closer as the visitors held on for a 27-23 win.
Megan Weaver led New Kent with seven points while Raven Randall finished with five, Candice Bullock and Kandra Taylor added four apiece, and Maddy Washington chipped in three.