Oaks slow Saints in fourth quarter

Published 12:24 am Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nansemond-Suffolk came into Thursday’s boys basketball contest against visiting Norfolk Collegiate off its first Tidewater Conference win of the season, a victory Tuesday against Peninsula Catholic.

The Saints played with added confidence most of the night, and led part of the way against the Oaks, but Norfolk Collegiate pulled away in the second half for a 67-54 win.

NSA (4-16, 1-5) was still within striking distance heading into the fourth quarter, but the Oaks held NSA to one lone basket in the first 6:43 of the last period to make a comfortable margin in the last couple minutes.

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After Norfolk Collegiate opened the game with a 4-0 lead, the Saints moved in front with a streak of fast-break offense.

Brock Barbeau scored four straight hoops as the Saints scored 12 unanswered points in all, mostly with the Saints rushing the ball up the court after rebounds or steals and finishing lay-ups or short jumpers.

In the opening quarter, NSA used a packed-in zone defense to confuse the Oaks. NSA led 15-7 after a quarter. In the middle two periods however, the Oaks found their shooting range against NSA’s zone and posted 25 points in the second period and 22 points in the third.

The Saints kept moving the ball well and playing well until the last few minutes of the first half. NSA led by as much as 20-10 before Norfolk Collegiate rallied.

The Oaks used a six-point possession, made possible by a technical foul called against Barbeau after he slammed the ball to the court after a foul was whistled against him, to tie the score 22-22. The Oaks led 32-30 at halftime.

Nansemond-Suffolk put together a 7-0 run through the middle of the third period and Breon Willie’s three-pointer gave the Saints a 42-41 lead. Willie made three treys on the night and finished with a team-high 16 points.

The Saints and Oaks traded baskets for the next couple minutes before the Oaks scored the last five points of the period to lead 54-47 going to the fourth quarter.

NSA’s offense stalled when the Saints needed it the most, and if the Saints could’ve kept going like they had for most of the night, they could’ve pulled ahead late in the game.

For the first 5:13 of the fourth quarter, the Saints had two points in the quarter and the Oaks had one point. Norfolk Collegiate broke through with four straight points and that was good enough for a 59-49 Oak lead with 1:38 remaining.

Phillip Owens led the Oaks with 23 points and six steals. Daryl Smith had 21 points and 14 rebounds. While the Oaks didn’t present the Saints with as much of a size disadvantage as most squads NSA’s faced this season, the Oaks still benefitted from a 29-19 rebounding margin over the Saints.

In addition to Willie’s 16 points, Harrison Spalding had 12 points, five assists and four rebounds. Chris Sharrett and Barbeau finished with eight points each.

The Saints have their last three regular season games set for next week, starting Tuesday evening at Bishop Sullivan Catholic.