NSA boys’ season endsPublished 9:58pm Tuesday, February 19, 2013
A difficult basketball season for the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy boys’ basketball team came to an end Monday night, when the 10th-seeded Saints lost 81-49 to host and seventh-seeded Hampton Roads Academy in the first round of the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament.
NSA head coach Randolph Davis said that while his team played well overall on either end of the court, it was just a step too slow.
“(HRA is) just a little quicker than we are, so their initial drives to the basket, we have people stepping in and helping, doing a real nice job on that on defense, but unfortunately they would kick the ball out to the guy sitting out there shooting an outside jumper and they were pretty hot,” Davis said. “They made quite a few buckets from the outside, so it’s just one of those things. They were in their gym, and they shot pretty well.”
Davis said that there was not really a particular moment where the Navigators really blew the game open, but it was more of a gradual process.
“The final score wasn’t really indicative of where the game was, Davis said. “It was 18 to 20 points most of the game, and we had chances, and then at the end they kind of pushed it out a little bit.”
Being outmatched a bit in strength and speed caused issues to crop up that have been present for the Saints all season.
“We just didn’t get enough loose balls, we didn’t get enough rebounds, kind of fumbled some chances that we had to score, that type of thing,” Davis said.
One thing that hurt Nansemond-Suffolk was playing without freshman swingman Logan Lokie.
“We can depend on him to play good defense on guards and forwards,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, he’s had a high ankle sprain, didn’t really play the last three weeks of the season. So, he’s been out. He’s like a sixth man and so that kind of has changed substitution patterns and rotations and what we can do.”
Junior forward John Hogan led the Saints with 16 points.
Nansemond-Suffolk finished 1-26 this season, but Coach Davis is excited about the future as he is set to lose only three seniors and is confident that everyone else will return next year. Offseason workouts will likely begin during the summer, since most players also compete in spring sports. Davis already has two main points of emphasis to help improve for next year.
“One, I think we need to just get physically stronger,” he said. “We would lose a lot of loose balls or 50-50 balls or have balls taken away from us just because we weren’t holding onto it or we wouldn’t hold onto rebounds when we got our hands on them.”
The other point was to work on improving both the team’s shooting and its finishing effort when shooting.
“We just didn’t finish, and strength is going to help there as well,” he said.
Though it was a difficult season, Davis enjoyed the heart that his team displayed throughout the year.
“I tell you, despite the record and the year we had from a won-loss perspective, the kids … fought every minute of every game,” he said. “They could be down two or they could be down 30, and they were playing just as hard. They never quit, they never gave up, so that’s very encouraging.”