Road Report: Nansemond River

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Nansemond River capped a long week of action with a road win over Indian River Friday night. Ed Young's team has a gaudy 15-1 record, a Top 3 ranking in the state and two Division I recruits in the Class of 2008.

Nansemond River, the Tidewater area's top-rated team isn't going to be participating in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Roundball Classic Saturday at Old Dominion. Coach Ed Young's group ran the gauntlet in its district this week, amassing a 3-0 record. The team that has come out on the winning end in 54 of its last 62 district games needs a rest.

Friday night, at Indian River, Nansemond River gutted out a 69-59 victory in the gym Alonzo Mourning and Jason Capel once called their homecourt.

"On the road in AAU you play three games on the road in no times but this is the districts and I never thought I would be that tired," junior power forward Nick Wright said. "I'm not that tired because if we had practice tomorrow I'd be there."

Luckily, for Wright, junior standout Andre Jones and the rest of the squad, they don't have to report to practice until Monday.

Against Indian River, Wright scored 11 points and hauled in a team-high 15 rebounds, numbers he's been amassing all season long. The mid-major recruit exerted himself on the glass in the second half when Nansemond River finally took command of the game.

"On defense I have killer intensity and I have to get the ball," Wright said. "On offense I know I have to get stronger. When I get stronger that's when the scoring comes in. As long as the coaches keep working with me I'll keep working hard."

According to Coach Young, George Mason, Delaware, Mount St. Mary's and Hampton have expressed interest in his 6-foot-7 versatile junior forward.

While Wright did the dirty work Friday night, Jones was credited with the heavy lifting the night before. He scored 29 points – 16 in the 4th quarter – against Kings Fork. Against I.R., Jones didn't come close to his average, for that matter he didn't really attempt to get buckets. This game was about his team.

"We just wanted to win," Jones said. "I just wanted to let my other guys get involved. I want to get the team chemistry going." Jones finished 2-for-5 from the field with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 7 blocked shots.

Could he have answered the call if Nansemond River needed his scoring touch or was he simply out of gas? "I would have come out, there's no doubt about that," Jones said.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard holds offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech. Numerous others like VCU, Old Dominion, George Mason, North Carolina State and Wake Forest are keeping in contact. However, Young said it's not time for his guys to devote themselves to recruiting.

"There's no list for the kids. What we do is name the school's that have come see them play.

"For us that's not important right now. They're only juniors."

With actual recruiting taking a backseat Jones did indicate a few characteristics that would be key in his search. "It's coaches, the programs and the academics. What's best for your family and yourself? To go to a program where the neighborhood is not good and it's worse than where you grew up that's not good."

Nansemond River, according to Young, has captured the city title 7 years in a row. They're the big dog on a block that has produced the likes of Allen Iverson, Mourning, Joe Smith, Vernon Macklin, Duke Crews and Ronald Curry over the years.

Jones and Wright are headed in the proper direction and so is their team this season.

"They're two good kids," Young said. "I think they'll end up graduating beyond a 3.0 level. I want them to enjoy this process."

Here's to enjoying a quality night of sleep after 3 games in 4 days!

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