Warhill’s late surge puts game out of reach for New Kent
Saturday night’s contest between New Kent’s Trojans and Warhill’s Lions featured two proud programs looking for win number five and better positioning to earn a bid into the regional playoffs. As part of the Feb. 3 matchup, the urgency to earn a spot went to the visiting Lions.
Utilizing a tough 2-3 defense, strong second half shooting, and a rebound advantage, Warhill emerged with a 76-69 victory over the hosting Trojans.
New Kent had a rough start, falling behind 6-1 early before Ryan Curle’s three-point shot calmed the host team’s nerves. But more panic set in as turnovers allowed Warhill to double up the Trojans (12-6). However, Curle was fouled on a three-point attempt, sinking all three free throws and followed up that effort with a block and score to have New Kent within one to end the opening stanza (12-11).
The Lions emerged from the brief break, jumping out to a 9-4 run thanks to New Kent miscues. Curle continued to keep the hosts in the contest, scoring seven points in the second quarter on his way to a 15 first half points. However, Warhill managed to keep the lead heading into halftime (34-33).
With the game tight and in favor of Warhill heading into the fourth quarter (51-49), the contest seemed to have the promise of a battle of wills. However, the visitors didn’t get the memo as they orchestrated a 13-2 run highlighted by three trifectas by Lions’ guard Antonio Stovall. New Kent failed to get any closer than nine points for the rest of the contest.
Trojans’ head coach Ronnie Cox explained the team’s shortcomings in the latest loss.
“Warhill kept making runs the entire game and finally in the fourth they made one big one,” the coach said. “We were not able to make things up and we simply ran out of gas.
“Along with not being able to get rebounds, we just didn’t do enough to win,” Cox added.
The coach added that the contests in the final week of the regular season have significant meaning in the team’s quest for the postseason.
“We have three games left in the regular season, including our last game at Warhill’s gym,” Cox commented. “We have to continue to improve and do the little things.
“We are playing a lot of games at the end of the season,” he continued. “We have to get our legs back knowing that we are playing for something.”
Curle led New Kent (4-16) with 21 points in the losing effort. Ben Housden and Zach Manley also finished in double figures with 13 and 11, respectively. Mitch Morse added seven points, while J.J. Jacobs rounded out the scoring with six.
Stovall led all scores in the game by scoring 23 points, with 11 of them coming in the final frame.