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Saints one-up Chesapeake#8217;s Cavs

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy got seven or more points from five different players Friday night, beating visiting Stonebridge School, 56-50, for the Saints’ eighth win out of their last nine games.

After the game though, Saints’ Coach Jason Coulombe brought up a guy who wasn’t among the leading scorers.

“Jack Wright doesn’t score a lot because of our offense, and he doesn’t get to pile up big assist numbers.

“The media doesn’t like talking much about great defensive players,” Coulombe said, “but tonight Jack defended (Stonebridge’s Ryan Barbosa), and he had been scoring a lot of points versus other people, but tonight Jack held him to about nothing.”

Barbosa had six points to be exact, and Cavalier teammate Paul Going picked up a great deal of the slack, pouring in 27, including two late three-pointers which got Stonebridge back in the game after being down 54-42 with 2:27 to play.

NSA built that lead in the first half after the Cavaliers opened the game getting out to an 8-2 lead.

The Saints took their first lead at 13-11 on a Kyle Jett steal which was turned into a three-on-one fast break with Jett getting a feed from Isaac Ballou for the lay-up.

Another Jett pilfer and lay-up on the break was the last score of the first quarter, putting NSA up 15-11.

Ryan Beale’s old-fashioned three-point play put NSA up 18-11 after their first possession of the second period, and the NSA lead grew as large as 25-13 on a Matt Hamlet breakaway lay-up after Adam Gillette’s blocked shot served as the perfect outlet pass.

Stonebridge slowed the game and was able to stop NSA’s transition opportunities for the rest of the half, and closed the gap back down to single digits at 34-26 at the break.

The Cavalier momentum continued into the first few minutes of the second half, and Stonebridge closed the NSA lead all the way to 39-37 about midway through the third period.

A Hamlet 12-foot jumper off a feed by Gillette stemmed the Cavalier rally.

Two made Ballou free throws, followed by a Gillette turnaround 10-foot jumper rebuilt the lead to 45-37.

With the lead, NSA slowed each offensive possession in the final period, going into a Princeton-like spread and running sometimes as much as a minute off the clock at a time.

Bryan Breedlove ended a 50-second long trip with a left wing three, giving NSA a 50-40 lead with about 5:30 remaining.

Next time down, after a long series of ball movement, Jett found a seem in the Cavaliers and drove all the way to the goal, making it 52-42 with 4:24 left.

A Ballou lay-in pushed the lead to 12 with just under 2:30 to go, and when everything seemed under control, Going hit his fourth and fifth three-pointers of the night, and then Stonebridge converted on an NSA turnover for a lay-up, and the Saints lead was quickly down to 54-50 with 0:51 left.

The teams traded turnovers until with 0:13 left, Breedlove hit two free throws for the final margin.

Jett was NSA’s leading scorer with 13 points; Ballou finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Hamlet was the third Saint in double figure scoring with 10 points.

Wright scored two points and had three steals in the second half, but as Coulombe said, the most important numbers were the ones Stonebridge was unable to get.

NSA (10-5) has one lost non-TCIS game before entering the nine-game conference schedule.

The Saints are back home Tuesday evening against Portsmouth Christian.

PC and NSA already met once this season, with PC winning 76-57 on Dec. 9.