Saints outshoot Isle of Wight

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nansemond-Suffolk’s Breon Willie tries to drive past Isle of Wight’s Brandon Privette during the second half of Tuesday’s game at the Peninsula Catholic Holiday Tournament in Newport News. Willie scored 23 points and Privette scored 26 points. NSA beat Isle of Wight 65-58. NSA plays in the tourney semis Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

NEWPORT NEWS — Nansemond-Suffolk’s trio of scorers edged out Isle of Wight’s inside-outside combo for a 65-58 victory in the first round of the Peninsula Catholic Holiday Tournament Tuesday afternoon.

Breon Willie’s sharpshooting paced the Saints with 23 points. Willie nailed six treys, with four coming in a short span midway through the third period, making up the majority of a 20-8 NSA run that gave the Saints the lead for good.

Willie’s backcourt running mates, Harrison Spalding and Chris Sharrett, poured in 17 points each.

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Charger guard Brandon Privette scored a game-high 26 points and IWA center Nathan Silvertson added 16 points.

NSA (3-4) advances to the tourney semifinals Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Isle of Wight (5-2) plays in a consolation game of the eight-team event Wednesday at 2 p.m.

The Saints jumped out to a 13-4 lead. Spalding and Willie hit from long range in the first few minutes. NSA managed to keep Privette, who entered the contest averaging 23.8 points per game, in check.

“With Privette, we definitely felt he was (Isle of Wight’s) best player. We did our best to keep a tab on where he was at all times,” said Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Clint Wright. “We thought if we could limit him we’d limit Isle of Wight and it’s what we finally did.”

Even with Privette still quiet offensively, the Chargers answered NSA’s good start and moved in front with Collin Bowden’s 16-foot jumper putting IWA up 17-15 two minutes into the second period.

Privette took over the final minutes of the half, scoring 10 of IWA’s last 13 points before halftime. His best play might have been creating a bucket for a teammate.

With 0:07 left and the Chargers needing to go the length of the floor, Privette diced through NSA’s press and dished to Kendall Boyd for an open lay-in at the horn and a 30-29 Charger lead after NSA led most of the half.

NSA regained the lead right away in the second half with Spalding and Willie leading the way with long jump shots. Much of the third quarter became a shooting dual between Willie and Privette. Willie hit four and Privette drained three, but Willie had more help around him.

Willie hit a three-pointer to build a 39-35 NSA lead. A Charger turnover led to a Saint break and A.J. Hicks scoring off an offense board. Another NSA fast break, ending in a Sharrett lay-up, and a three by Willie made it 46-35 Saints.

Isle of Wight cut into the lead and a hoop in the lane by Silvertson made it 50-45 NSA at the end of the third. The Chargers never got back within a one-possession margin though. NSA held Privette to five points, and no more three-pointers, in the last eight minutes.

The Chargers trailed 58-54 and had the ball as the clocked moved under four minutes left. Spalding rebounded a long carom off a Charger miss and took off for a fast-break lay-up.

The Chargers played the last 2:39 with Privette and Silvertson having four fouls each.

IWA’s trapping defense troubled the Saints some in the last couple minutes, but Hicks passed from a double-team near midcourt to Willie for an easy lay-in to put NSA up 64-57 with 0:44 left.

“After a few days off, an ugly win is just fine,” Wright said.

This tourney wasn’t on NSA’s schedule until a couple weeks ago. A school took itself out of the Peninsula Catholic event and NSA was asked to fill in.

“I went to the guys and said, would you rather practice, or play? And of course they chose to play,” Wright said.