Dolphin threes sink Saints

Published 8:19 pm Friday, January 29, 2010

Cape Henry’s boys basketball team drained 12 three-pointers Thursday night and had little problem against host Nansemond-Suffolk, winning the Tidewater Conference game 81-53.

“We knew (Cape Henry) was big, experienced and very talented,” said Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Franklin Chatman, “and we have a young, inexperienced team that can play well in spurts, but they just took command early.

“When they were making shots, we had to change our gameplan early on,” Chatman said.

In the first two minutes of the game, Cape Henry made three-pointers on four straight possessions to jump out to a 12-4 lead.

The Saints opened the game playing a zone defense, trying to take away Cape Henry’s most obvious strength, a major height advantage over the Saints. Cape Henry’s outstanding shooting display was the last thing the Saints wanted to see.

The Dolphins started the game making nine of their first 12 shots. Cape Henry led 22-6 just over five minutes into the game. George Radford led the Dolphin shooting. Able to spot up time and again on the left wing, Radford made 6-of-7 three-pointers in the first half and finished the game with 21 points, all on three-pointers.

The Saints put together a couple of the spurts their coach mentioned early in the second period. Point guard Chris Sharrett made a three-pointer and took a steal in for a lay-up for the first five points of the period to cut Cape Henry’s lead to 27-15.

A few minutes later, Breon Willie hit a three-pointer, then Harrison Spalding scored two three-point plays on drives and short, pull-up jumpers. Willie and Spalding accounted for a 9-4 NSA run to make it 38-24 Dolphins.

Both times though, Cape Henry followed with bigger runs to put the game more out of reach. The Dolphins led 54-26 at halftime.

The second half wound up being a 27-27 tie as both teams played their reserves for much of the half.

Spalding led NSA with 14 points. Willie had 12 points. Sharrett had 11 points, six assists and five steals. No Saint player had more than four rebounds as the Dolphins outrebounded NSA 26-10 in the first half and 43-25 for the night.

“We’re coming together as a team,” said Chatman, “but when you’re an inexperienced team, this is a tough conference to play against. There are so many teams with depth and experience.”

“We can’t always measure success in wins and losses. We have to take positives out of things like our effort on defense, our effort rebounding and staying together as a team,” Chatman said.

NSA’s (3-14, 0-3) schedule gets no easier next week, though. The Saints play at 14-2 Walsingham Tuesday and at 12-4 Norfolk Christian Thursday.