NSA becomes Parris’ hilton

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 22, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Parris Grieder scored only two points during Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s victory over visiting Portsmouth Christian. But those free throws won the game.

Grieder swished the pair of one-pointers with three seconds left as NSA recovered from a sloppy first half to win 36-34. With the score tied at 34 with 37 seconds to play, Grieder missed two free throws before grabbing her last chances.


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NSA missed its first eight shots before Ann-Taylor Spain snuck through for a jumper with 2:40 to play in the first quarter. PC charged to a 7-4 lead with a minute left, but Courtney White banged home a jumper and Claire Leonard took an assist from Michelle Boucher and swished a jumper in the corner at the buzzer for an 8-7 lead.

It didn’t last, as Tina Viers scored PC’s next six points to give the Lady Patriots a 13-10 lead. The teams went back and forth, and Viers sank a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left to go up 17-14 at halftime, a lead that Gretchen Sheperty extended to 21-14 in the first 1:20 of the second half.

Leonard took charge of her offense, tossing assists to Ashlee Robb and Lexi Holland. Whitney Cuffe scored for PC, but Spain sank a layup and Leonard and Holland one free throw each to get within one. White then took a breakaway assist from Leonard to go back ahead, but Sheperty charged past the Lady Saint defense for a layup with 32 seconds to go.

Leonard attempted to drive the lane, but was fouled with one second on the clock. She hit both free throws to end the quarter ahead 26-25.

&uot;Our heads were not in this game (in the first half),&uot; Leonard said. &uot;We were lazy on defense, and not setting up anything on offense. But we fired in back up, because we were not losing on my second-to-last game here.&uot; She, Spain, Holland and Caroline Parker will play their &uot;Senior Night&uot; game at 5:30 tonight against Greenbrier Christian.

Sheperty tied the score with a free throw with six minutes to play, but Spain and Holland hurried through for four points, snaring a 30-26 lead. Shannon Dickson broke away for a layup for PC, but Boucher neutralized it with one of her own with four minutes on the clock.

NSA went into a stall, but Sheperty was able to break away with 2:30 on the clock. She was fouled, and hit both free throws. Cuffe followed her up with a jumper from the left baseline, and the score was tied with 1:44 to go.

Leonard dribbled down the court, and passed to Holland on the right side. Holland scurried toward the baseline, and sent a pass to the center to Spain, who banked home a jumper at the 1:10 mark. The Lady Patriots rumbled back down the court, and Dickson was fouled with 51 seconds to go. She missed the first, but made the second to cut the lead to one.

Again, Leonard brought the ball down. She passed to Grieder, who was fouled in the paint. Her first free throw try fell short, and her second bounced off the rim. Grieder was able to yank down her own rebound, but her shot was blocked, and PC took over with 30 seconds to go.

Sheperty was fouled at the :18 mark. She missed the first shot, but swished the second to tie the score. As the clock ticked past 10, Leonard passed to Spain in the paint. Spain put up a jumper that hit the front of the rim, settled on the back… and lurched off to the right. Grieder was right there, outjumping a pair of Lady Patriots.

She came down with the ball, and went right back up, but was knocked backwards for the foul. &uot;I was upset that I didn’t make the first two, and I didn’t think I would score again,&uot; she said. &uot;I didn’t really think about anything; I just walked up to the line.&uot; She made use of her second chance, hitting nothing but nylon on both shots to bring home the victory.

When she hit the first shot, Grieder said, &uot;Ten pounds and a leaf came off my back! I was fine for the second one.&uot; Holland finished the night with eight rebounds, and Leonard with five assists. She also had four steals, and Spain, Holland and Boucher took away three each.

The NSA boys weren’t so lucky, running out of gas early in a 60-49 loss to the Patriots. Todd Harrell scored 17 points for the Saints, and Adam Gillette had 13. Harrell, Andy Rivenmark, Ronald Ricks and Bo Garner will play their &uot;Senior Night&uot; game at 7 o’clock tonight against Greenbrier.