Last year’s quick end in the Group 2A East regional tournament was avenged Tuesday night for Nandua’s girls basketball team.
The host Warriors clinched a 59-52 victory over Greensville of Emporia to advance to the regional quarterfinals.
Nandua fell to Bluestone, 44-25, in last season’s first-round regional bout.
“The preparation we made prior to this game was a tremendous help,” said first-year coach Marvin Giddens after the exciting win in Onley.
“The last week or so whenever we got in the gym all we did was work on fine tuning our sets–what is going to get us to the next level–and we played it tonight regardless of whatever the score was,” he said.
Nandua quickly put together a 5-0 run after a jumper by Kyteia Smaw got the host team on the board.
The Warriors continued to extend the gap as D’errica Toppin hit her first of four three-pointers of the night. Toppin led in scoring with 19 points.
Up by 2 after the first quarter, the Warriors saw their lead rise and fall as the Eagles tied the score three times.
A late 6-0 run gave Greensville a scant 22-21 lead at the break.
The third quarter saw a pair of clutch three-pointers by Toppin that helped the Warriors maintain a narrow lead.
“D’errica is one of the best shooters on the team and we’ve been having problems giving her the ball,” said Giddens. “So in the last week we’ve been finding ways to give her the ball and that’s what worked tonight–she was open on majority of her shots and that’s how she normally makes them.”
Down by only a basket after the third quarter, things started to go south for Nandua as the Warriors struggled with rebounding shots.
The host team then got into some foul trouble which led to the Eagles’ 11-point lead with less than 7 minutes left.
But Nandua switched to a man-to-man pressure after the run to make it a 2-point game.
In the final minute, the Warriors sank a series of crucial free throws, while the Eagles missed three straight shots at the line.
After Lakendra Riggins came up with a big steal, she sent a pass to Toppin who was fouled on her way to the basket.
The leading scorer made the free throws with ease and seconds later Khadijah Robinson sank a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
The Warriors hosted the first-round game Tuesday because of their high seeding in Conference 33. The conference tournament originally slated before regionals was scrapped due to recent snow storms hitting the commonwealth.
Nandua is scheduled to host Robert E. Lee High School of Staunton for the Region 2A East quarterfinal on Thursday.
Score by quarter
Greensville 10 12 13 17—52
Nandua 12 9 12 26—59
D’errica Toppin: 19 points
Khadijah Robinson: 12 points
Kyteia Smaw: 9 points
Angelique Taylor: 7 points
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