Senior leads Lady Saints over Cape Henry

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

As Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls basketball team has improved during the past season-and-a-half under head coach Kim Aston, the need for do-it-all games from Jenna Starkey has decreased.

On Monday night at Cape Henry however, Starkey did just that in a big way. With NSA’s offense struggling for portions of the game, Starkey, a senior guard who’s in her fourth season as a Lady Saint starter, totaled 18 points, 11 rebounds, nine steals and six assists to lead the Lady Saints to what eventually turned into a comfortable win, 44-28.

Throughout the contest, the Lady Saints capitalized on volume. Using football terminology, the Lady Saints won the game by winning the time of possession. Led by Starkey, plus nine boards each by Morgan Newhall and Grace Saunders, NSA out-rebounded the Lady Dolphins 47-20 and turned that advantage into 31 more field goal attempts on the night.

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Nansemond-Suffolk held Cape Henry scoreless through the first 5:13 of the game and the Lady Saints held a 9-2 lead by the end of the first period.

NSA’s offense stalled for much of the second period however. Cape Henry closed the gap to 13-12 and NSA led 17-13 at halftime. NSA held a 23-11 rebounding advantage, with many of the rebounds getting the Lady Saints second and third shots on the offensive end. Finishing the shots was the only thing missing.

Cape Henry remained close through the first few minutes of the second half. A three-point play by Starkey, as she was fouled while making a jumper from the foul line, gave the Lady Saints some daylight at 22-14 with 4:26 left in the third.

The game turned fully into Nansemond-Suffolk’s favor in the last few minutes of the third period. Saunders picked up two early fouls, then sat out the rest of the first half, then got a third foul seconds into the second half and missed about five more minutes. When the 5-foot-11 forward reentered the game late in the third, her scoring stretched the Lady Saint lead.

Saunders scored on back-to-back possessions, scoring baskets in the lane that the Lady Saints had been missing throughout the earlier portion of the game, to give NSA a 27-19 lead. NSA finished the period with nine straight points, six from Saunders, to take a 32-19 lead to the fourth period.

Twice in the final couple minutes, with Cape Henry extending its defense against NSA’s guards, Starkey was able to drive past her defender and give Saunders a bounce pass on the low block for an open lay-up. Saunders scored all 12 of her points in the second half.

Newhall finished with eight points. Ashley Anderson added three points and eight rebounds.

NSA (4-6, 0-0) and Cape Henry will meet again on Jan. 29 in Suffolk for their conference contest. The Lady Saints go to Richmond on Friday to face Collegiate.