Lady Saints fall to Norfolk ChristianPublished 10:35pm Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Lady Saints gave a valiant effort on the road Thursday night, but 48-percent free throw shooting and a 47-point performance by Norfolk Christian’s Latrice Hunter doomed them to a 62-56 loss.
“If you make free throws, that’s the difference in the game,” NSA head coach Kim Aston said.
Nansemond-Suffolk was 16-of-33 from the foul line for the night.
The Lady Ambassadors started the night strong, never trailing in the first quarter, taking a 15-13 lead into the second.
Lady Saints freshman point guard Harper Birdsong had a fantastic half that helped her team take a 32-31 lead into halftime.
“I think Harper came out and played really well tonight,” Aston said. “In the first half, she basically carried us. She was able to penetrate their zone. She was hitting jump shots.”
Birdsong ended the game with 21 points.
NSA was prepared for all three of Norfolk Christian’s potent guards, but one of them, Danielle Webster, did not play. As the No.-1 ranked team in the conference, the home team was still dangerous, however, requiring the Lady Saints to apply their defensive strategy, particularly against Hunter.
“It was working,” Aston said. “Defensively, in the first half, we were making them take shots they didn’t want to take.”
Junior guard Macy Mears was tasked with guarding Hunter for much of the night to prevent her from putting points on the board.
“We made her work for them, Macy wasn’t giving her anything easy,” Aston said.
Still, Hunter provided almost all of her team’s offense. Aston pointed out that a player like that who has secured a full ride to William & Mary is going to score quite a bit when she shoots the ball 50 times in a game. She was also effective enough from the foul line.
“She missed seven free throws, but she made about 12,” Aston said.
Junior guard Jessica Pieroni ended up with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Mears had nine points and fouled out in the waning moments of the game, receiving applause from her teammates for her effort in defending Hunter.
Junior guard/forward Kaylor Nash had six points and five boards.
This game concluded the regular season for the Lady Saints (16-8, 5-3), and they will begin the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament on Tuesday.