NSA starts season off right

Published 1:24am Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy boys’ basketball team pressed its way to a 51-42 victory on Friday against host Denbigh Baptist Christian School.

Saints head coach David Mitchell has installed a brand new style of play for the boys’ basketball, featuring full court traps.

“The press worked well,” Mitchell said. “We created some turnovers. We created a fast pace,” and it led to rushed shots for Denbigh.

NSA had a big first half, which led to a 27-13 lead at halftime.

“Offensively, we converted some fairly easy buckets off of our defense,” Mitchell said.

Senior forward John Mobley had an outstanding night with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

“He was able to score a lot of his baskets down in the paint,” Mitchell said, and he was able to convert some put backs, as well.

But the Saints ran into some difficulty to start the second half.

“We had three of our big men get in foul trouble early in that third quarter,” Mitchell said.

Senior John Hogan, Matt Newhall and Zach Leitner all got their fourth fouls, forcing NSA to change its defensive style to a zone.

“It’s a little bit of a softer defense, and they were able to get more outside shots,” Mitchell said.

It slowed the pace of the game, as well, and a Denbigh player went on to put up 25 of his 30 points in the second half.

The Saints were still able to operate on offense, though.

“We hung tough, we didn’t quit and kept playing and were able to pull it out,” Mitchell said.

Sophomore guard Morgan Wentz ended up with 14 points for the game and came up big when Denbigh started fouling late.

“He hit some key free throws in the fourth quarter,” Mitchell said.

After seeing both the junior varsity and varsity teams get season-opening wins with the new system of play, Mitchell was pleased.

“It kind of breeds a little confidence through the whole program,” he said. “We know it can work. We know it’s something we can use at all levels.”

Nansemond-Suffolk (1-0, 0-0) visits Tidewater Academy on Dec. 3.

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