NSA boys lose to IWA in Holiday Classic

Published 10:12pm Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy varsity boys’ basketball team had a poor performance on Wednesday night in a 58-25 loss to Isle of Wight Academy in its first game of the Peninsula Catholic High School Holiday Classic.

“Up until now, we’ve been playing well, we just haven’t been scoring,” NSA head coach Randolph Davis said. “Today, we didn’t play well.”

Nansemond-Suffolk junior forward Steven Minter is blocked on a shot attempt during the Saints' 58-25 loss to Isle of Wight in their first game at the Peninsula Catholic High School Holiday Classic tournament on Wednesday evening.

The team had not practiced since Friday, but Davis pinpointed what he thought was the unusual problem.

“The mistakes we made today were more mental mistakes than they were physical mistakes,” he said. “We were throwing passes that weren’t there, we weren’t being real tough (on) inside rebounding. It was just stuff that in our head we got to get better on.”

The Chargers jumped out to a 16-3 lead after the first quarter and rode a 30-10 advantage into halftime. Isle of Wight was led in scoring by Nathan Sivertson and Austin Rogers with 10 points apiece.

Despite having a winless record, defense has not been the issue for the Saints lately, but that highlights what has been a major concern.

“I think we just can’t really get the ball to fall,” NSA junior forward Steven Minter said. “We’re playing better as the year goes on. Our defense is good — only gave up, what, 50 points? So, our defense is playing well.”

Davis concurred with Minter, who led the Saints with eight points and five rebounds.

“I think we’re OK,” he said. “We gave up (58) points, but in a 32 minute game, it’s not a lot of points to give up.”

“We’ve got to get more comfortable in our head,” he said. “We got to get our mind straight to the point that we have more confidence and we can score. That’s the whole thing. I don’t think we’re very confident with our shooting.”

The Saints played the Chargers on Dec. 18 and lost by a narrower margin, 68-48, having more success overall.

“Last time we played them we had maybe about a 2-3 minute stretch where we didn’t play smart, and that was the difference in the game when they pushed the lead out,” Davis recalled. “Today, just the whole first half we weren’t in the game mentally.”

Part of the problem was the Chargers’ ability to get second-chance points. The Saints were not boxing out, getting position on defense to rebound the ball in the event of a missed shot.

“We were turning and running to the rim, and what happened was, we were forcing them to take long shots, so we had long rebounds,” Davis said. “So, we don’t box out and we turn and run to the basket, the rebound goes over our head, and then they get an offensive rebound and get another chance. When the ball goes up, if we’ll step to our man, box out and then go get the ball, we don’t have stuff going over our head.”

Davis thought his team got better at rebounding as the game went on. He also noted that the Saints got themselves behind the eight ball with turnovers, but that they handled the Chargers’ full-court press fairly well.

“When we were patient with it, reverse the ball, move it back and forth, we got it in the middle, kicked it out, we were OK,” he said.

The three-day tournament continues Thursday, and the Saints (0-9, 0-0) will play against the loser of Wednesday’s game between Alliance Christian and Peninsula Catholic.

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