NSA falls to Norfolk Academy

Published 10:54 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fourth quarter: Nansemond-Suffolk’s Sarah Baldwin puts up a shot in the fourth period of Wednesday night’s game at Norfolk Academy. NSA rallied from a 34-19 deficit early in the fourth to get within three points of Norfolk Academy. Norfolk Academy held on to a 42-38 win.

NORFOLK—Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls basketball team figured out what to do against Norfolk Academy’s defense in Wednesday evening’s non-conference match-up.

If the Lady Saints (3-1) had figured it out a few minutes sooner, they might well have turned around a 15-point deficit into something a lot better than a 42-38 loss.

Norfolk Academy made everything difficult for the Lady Saints through the first three periods. With physical, contesting defense anywhere within 30 feet of the Lady Bulldog goal, the Lady Saints found no rhythm, let alone open shot attempts.

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After Norfolk Academy jumped out to a 5-0 lead, jump shooting by Jessica Pieroni and Emily Cobb got the Lady Saints off the blocks and into a momentary 8-7 lead.

NA, mainly thanks to its effort on the defensive end, went on a 13-0 run over a seven-minute span of the first and second periods. The Lady Bulldogs took a 24-15 lead to the half.

NSA shot 25 percent (6-for-24) from the field and Norfolk Academy held a 6-1 advantage in steals.

Points were even tougher for NSA to come by in the third quarter. NA ground out an 8-4 advantage in the quarter and with the first hoop of the fourth period, the hosts had their largest lead of the game, 34-19.

Center Sarah Baldwin sparked NSA’s rally. The Lady Saints around the perimeter tried to get the ball to Baldwin on the low block or in the high post throughout the game, but finally found a little success.

Baldwin drained a foul-line jumper, finished a long outlet pass from Morgan Lokie for a lay-up and scored off a turnaround move into the center of the lane to cut NA’s lead to 34-25 with 6:27 left.

A rebound and 10-foot bank shot by Kaylor Nash made it 10 straight NSA points. NA rebuilt its lead to 37-29.

NSA made another charge and the first Lady Saint three-pointer of the game, by Lokie from the top of the key, brought NSA within 37-34 with 2:49 to go.

An 18-foot jumper by Lokie got NSA within a possession again, 41-38, with 0:28 and counting.

NA gave NSA a couple opportunities with missed free throws, but Lokie missed a pair at the line with 0:20 left. The Lady Bulldogs followed with another empty trip to the line but, for the fifth time in the game, NA rebounded its own missed free throw and finally got one free throw to drop for a four-point lead with 0:15 left.

Pieroni and Baldwin led the Lady Saints with 12 points each. Baldwin added eight rebounds. Lokie had 10 points, six assists and six rebounds. NSA committed 16 turnovers through three periods and zero in the fourth quarter.

NSA has its home opener Friday at 6 p.m. against Alexandria’s St. Stephen’s/St. Agnus.