Crusaders overpower NSA boys

Published 10:12pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

The speed and accuracy of visiting Bishop Sullivan proved to be too much for the Nansemond-Suffolk boys’ basketball team on Wednesday night, resulting in a 76-33 victory for the Crusaders.

Saints head coach Randolph Davis said the Crusaders might have set a precedent.

Nansemond-Suffolk junior forward Steven Minter goes up for a shot during the third quarter of Wednesday night's 76-33 home loss to Bishop Sullivan. Minter found some running lanes to the hoop during the game and ended up with eight points, second-best on the team. (Photo by Janine DeMello)

“I’m not sure I’ve seen a team in our league that’s as quick as they are — all of their guys,” he said.

And Bishop Sullivan was enjoying a strong shooting percentage on top of that.

“I just thought we were just going to have to play good solid defense, get a hand in their face and box out to hold them to one shot,” Davis said. “The problem is, we held them oftentimes to one shot, but that’s all they needed. They kept hitting them.”

The Crusaders held a 20-8 lead after the first quarter, a 38-13 advantage at halftime and a 57-25 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Saints tried a couple of different things offensively, starting with a motion offense. Using this strategy, once the ball is passed, the other four players without the ball are in motion, setting screens away from the ball, constantly moving. Doing so forces the defense to move constantly, eventually opening up some opportunities to score.

Davis explained that Bishop Sullivan played NSA man-to-man, and the Saints attempted to use the motion offense to get the ball inside.

“As quick as (the Crusaders) were, they took us out of that pretty quick,” he said.

Later, NSA switched to a spread offense, which moves players out to the perimeter, forcing the defense to spread out as well. The Saints tried to take advantage of this by having a player cheat to the outside and then break toward the basket, going behind the defender to get open for a pass.

“We actually had some flashes of brilliance playing our spread offense at some points during the game,” Davis said. “I think we probably scored maybe in the first four or five times we had possessions in the third quarter.”

The strategy opened up opportunities for multiple players to drive to the hoop.

“I know Steven Minter had two or three real good drives last night,” Davis said.

“We were kind of getting it a little bit, moving against their quickness, but then there were times when we just didn’t do what we needed to do as well,” Davis said.

The Saints had 23 turnovers on the night.

“We did a have a few more turnovers than we’ve been having, but I think that was attributable to their quickness, as well,” Davis said.

Freshman guard/forward Logan Lokie led the Saints with 11 points, and Minter, a junior forward, had eight points.

Davis praised freshman guard Morgan Wentz, who has been a key contributor this season.

“He has to do so much for us that oftentimes it hurts his scoring a little bit,” Davis said.

John Hogan saw limited minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but Davis praised the junior forward’s play when on-court.

“Actually, I thought he had a pretty good game other than scoring last night,” Davis said. “He played pretty well defensively. I thought he played pretty well moving and setting screens and getting open and that type of thing,” Davis said. “We played OK when he wasn’t in foul trouble.”

The Saints (0-6, 0-0) visit Isle of Wight Academy on Tuesday.

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