Woodbridge cuts through Forest Park

WOODBRIDGE — In Tuesday night’s nightcap at the Cardinal District semifinals, Forest Park coach Brion Dunlap cooked up the perfect recipe for an upset. The Bruins just didn’t quite have all the ingredients.

Woodbridge, undefeated in the district’s regular season, escaped with a 50-40 victory over host Forest Park, winless in the same six-game district schedule. Viking senior center Tyrice Watkins delivered with 14 points and 15 rebounds, but second-half rebounding (when Watkins pulled down 10) was the only positive news for Woodbridge coach Will Robinson.

Forest Park “certainly deserved to win the basketball game,” Robinson said. “They played with much more intensity. They played with a great deal of intelligence and purpose. They played the game the very way the game is supposed to be played — from the heart.”

The Bruins (4-17) played to a 19-19 tie in the first half by relying on switching defenses and patient offense. Woodbridge (17-5), which will meet Hylton in Saturday night’s district tournament final at Forest Park, didn’t score in the last 4:45 of the first half as it lost a 19-10 advantage.

During that stretch, Forest Park sophomore guard Kenny Carter scored six straight points and junior guard Gerel Nesbitt threw in a three-pointer with four seconds left in the half. Carter would finish with a team-high 14 points.

Woodbridge sophomore guard Daniel Fountain led all scorers with 20 points, including 12 in the first quarter. But two of the Vikings’ most critical baskets came when Watkins scored on a three-point conversion and freshman guard Andre Bratton made a three-point jumper from the left wing.

Those points helped stave off the upset, as Forest Park’s last chance to tie the game came with 5:08 left as Johnnie Sanders missed a three-pointer. Sanders, who had scored moments earlier on a leaning shot in the lane, could’ve drawn the Bruins even at 36. Instead, Woodbridge went up 41-34 when Bratton made his one field goal of the game with 3:16 remaining.

“We stressed with the kids to always leave it on the floor,” Dunlap said. “Tonight was one of those nights where they left everything they had on the floor. We knew that when we played them here in the regular season and were tied after three quarters [in a 54-42 Woodbridge win] that we had to change some things. They made a few changes last time [in a 74-49 Woodbridge rout] and we had to tonight.”

Similar Posts