New Kent can’t complete comeback, falls to Warhill in home finale
In a season filled with missed opportunities, New Kent Trojans looked to salvage Senior Night in the Feb. 7 matchup against Warhill. Unfortunately for the hosts, not taking advantage of their talent on the floor mirrored the season long woes for the Trojans.
Warhill’s Lions defeated New Kent 63-56, spoiling Senior Night and sweeping the season series with the Trojans.
Sloppy play in the opening half hindered both teams, with minimum attempts being taken at the free throw line. Despite that, Warhill slugged through the first two quarters to a 29-16 lead at the break.
Third quarter play offered no favors to the Trojans as Warhill continued to stretch their lead. The visitors continued to stretch the lead, reaching 22 heading into the beginning of the fourth.
Warhill inserted their bench players with seven minutes remaining and New Kent began making a massive run. Dean Powell and Mitch Morris’ hot shooting hands scored 20 points as the Trojans’ defense stifled Warhill. The combination resulted in New Kent only trailing 59-56.
Warhill began clanking shots at the free throw line, providing ample opportunities for the Trojans to take the lead. However, the hosts ran out of gas as Warhill’s Kobe Bivins and JaiRome Smith converted four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
After the game, New Kent head coach Ronnie Cox reflected on the contributions made by the Senior class.
“They are very special to me and the program,” Cox said, speaking about KeSean Taliaferro, Dean Powell, Mitch Morse, Robb Kinder, and Evan Branch. “KeSean loves playing basketball, Dean is a strong character guy, and Evan is a great athlete who is a three-sport star, but yet is very humble.
“Then you have Mitch who has overcome so much on a personal level and basketball level,” the coach continued. “Robb plays extremely hard and he cares about people. All these guys have to be commented on for all the great things they do.”
Morris’ 23 points led New Kent, who completes their season with a 9-14 record. Powell scored 14, Branch tossed in seven, Kinder and J.J. Jacobs scored four, and the duo of Jared McCaughan and Jalen Banks chipped in with two apiece.