Saints, Crusaders start new city rivalry

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nansemond-Suffolk raced out to a 28-6 lead through a quarter and went on to defeat visiting First Baptist 67-41 Monday night in the boys’ half of the doubleheader at NSA.

In the first meeting ever between the Saints and the Crusaders, NSA head coach Franklin Chatman summed up a game, that while the outcome wasn’t in doubt for the final 12 minutes, was already as intense as a long-played city rivalry.

“The biggest thing is it was two Suffolk schools playing, so before long, this will be a rivalry,” Chatman said.

“We put the game together because it was a good opportunity (for First Baptist) to show they can compete and we wanted to come out and compete, too. All the kids came out and played hard,” Chatman said.

The Saints set the tempo at overdrive to open the game, putting a full-court press on the Crusaders. With NSA’s guard-heavy roster, the Saints’ quickness was too much for First Baptist.

Breon Willie knocked down a pair of jumpers, including a three-pointer, to give NSA a 10-4 margin early on.

Forward Taylor Edens, usually not a big scorer for the Saints, scored back-to-back three-point plays with lay-ins. Edens made it eight straight points with a rebound and short putback. Edens’ own personal run made it 18-4 NSA at the 4:08 mark of the first. The Saints called their pressing defense off for the most part after the opening quarter.

Pete Twisdale, First Baptist’s top scorer at 20 points per game, got a steal and breakaway lay-up, then drained a three-pointer a couple minutes later to lead the Crusaders on a run in the second period.

Blake Farrenkopf’s lay-up finished a well-run backdoor play and a 16-foot jumper by Colby Toler brought the Crusaders within 32-17 three minutes into the second period.

NSA led 37-20 at the break and the Crusaders kept chipping into the lead in the first couple minutes of the second half.

The Saints put the outcome out of reach with a streak of hot shooting and a 17-1 run. Reserves Anthony Waldner and Brock Barbeau made three-pointers. After the Crusaders stopped the big NSA run, Tyler Edwards drained a three for the last NSA points of the third quarter, then made another to open the fourth quarter and stretch NSA’s lead to 61-28.

Toler was probably First Baptist’s prime example for NSA’s coach praising how hard both sides played. Toler, First Baptist’s power forward, had 15 points , 16 rebounds and three blocks. Twisdale added 13 points.

Willie had 14 points in the first half and finished with 20 points, six rebounds and four steals to lead NSA. Harrison Spalding had 11 points and seven boards. Waldner added nine points.

About his leading scorer on the night, Chatman said, “we’re trying to get him to be a little more aggressive on the offensive end. He shoots the ball well, but sometimes he puts too much pressure on himself. We want him to just relax and play hard.”

First Baptist (5-6) plays again on Friday, hosting Voice of the Believers. Nansemond-Suffolk (3-9) is two games away from going into its Tidewater Conference schedule. The Saints host Collegiate (Richmond) on Friday night.