By Whitney Metz –
The Nandua Warriors hosted the Chincoteague Ponies last Thursday for the final matchup of the regular season.
Chincoteague’s offense was lively in the first quarter led by senior Landon King, nailing shots from all over the court. King recorded 14 points with three 3-pointers, giving Chincoteague the lead 24-13. Nandua switched up its defense in the second quarter, going to a fullcourt press in an attempt to slow the Ponies’ strong offensive play. The Warriors were successful but were unable to take the lead before the half with Chincoteague up 35-29.
The third quarter was off to an intense start as Warriors came out strong, looking to overcome the deficit at half. Momentum shifted after a fast break and one layup by Jeremiah Riley, who added a foul shot bringing the score within 2. Quickly following the play, Zykese Davis grabs an offensive rebound and puts it up for the 41-41 tie.
After a steal by the Warriors, Riley completed another and one, giving Nandua its first lead of the night. Chincoteague’s offense had been slowed since the first quarter, but the Ponies were not ready to back down. Jordan Harper nailed a 3-pointer, retaking the lead.
The two teams continued to battle with the close score of 46- 45 Nandua going into the fourth quarter. The Warriors proceeded with their full-court press on defense, challenging Chincoteague to quickly push the ball up court. Riley started the fourth quarter where he left off, hitting a jumper to extend the lead. The Ponies’ Wyatt Revell responded with a foul shot and layup to change the score to 49-48, Chincoteague.
After multiple lead changes in this intense second half, Nandua took momentum with a 3 from Ny’Zir Dix. The Warriors seemed to be pulling away with a 57-52 lead and only 3:30 left in the game. Chincoteague’s Jake Harper pulled up for two back-to-back 3-pointers, putting the Ponies back within 2 points with under a minute left before the final buzzer. Nandua was able to successfully move the ball on offense and keep Chincoteague from having another chance to score. The Nandua Warriors defeated Chincoteague after a hard fought game from both sides with a final score of 63-61.
Chincoteague was led on offense by Landon King who recorded 29 points with four 3-pointers. For the Warriors, Jeremiah Riley had 17 points on the night followed by Ny’Zir Dix with 15.
The Ponies will host Arcadia in a double-header Thursday and Friday, while Nandua travels to Eastville to take on the Yellow Jackets.