Defense carries Lady Saints

Published 8:23 pm Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fast break: Macy Mears dribbles followed by teammate Sarah Baldwin on a Lady Saint fast break against Tidewater Academy Friday at Nansemond-Suffolk. NSA won the second half 21-9 to gain a 34-19 win over the Lady Warriors.

Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls basketball squad pulled away from a defensive struggle with visiting Tidewater Academy for a 34-19 win Friday afternoon.

It took until NSA’s fourth period for either team to score more than single digits in the quarter but NSA’s defensive play meant that even that wasn’t necessary in the end. NSA forced 30 turnovers and allowed the Lady Warriors no more than six points in a quarter.

The visitors from the Metro Conference made everything almost as tough on the Lady Saints.

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While NSA tried speeding the game up by trapping and pressuring Tidewater. Tidewater packed its defense in with a tight zone. NSA did enough to figure it out and pull away as the second half went along, but the Lady Saints still managed to shoot only 22.8 percent (13-for-57) from the field.

It took 4:43 of play for either side to score. Macy Mears scored with a breakaway lay-up to break the ice. It was a 4-4 score through eight minutes.

The Lady Saints picked up the defensive pressure to start the second period and it paid off during a 6-0 run to put NSA ahead 12-6.

The Lady Saints kept causing turnovers, turning some of them into fast break chances. A couple more converted lay-ups and a few more free throws, as NSA made 3-of-10 at the line in the first half, could’ve built a big Lady Saint lead by halftime.

Instead, the Lady Saints led only 13-10 at the break, and when Tidewater got baskets by Samantha Spain and Cary Beahm in the first 60 seconds of the third period, NSA trailed 14-13.

Tidewater didn’t score again until 2:37 remained in the game. Even with the tough going shooting, NSA’s 12-minute-long defensive stand gave plenty of time to take a commanding lead.

Sarah Baldwin scored off an offensive rebound to put the Lady Saints ahead 16-14. Baldwin scored six of NSA’s nine points in the third period.

Jessica Pieroni caught a long outlet pass by Morgan Lokie and made a lay-in for a 24-14 margin less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

Lokie tallied four quick points to make it 30-14. Lokie fought for an offensive board and scored in the paint, then got a steal at midcourt on the ensuing Lady Warrior possession and made a lay-up through contact.

Lokie led the Lady Saints with 12 points, seven rebounds and seven steals. Beahm led Tidewater with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Mears had eight points and six rebounds. Baldwin added five steals and five rebounds.

The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Lady Saints (5-9, 0-2), who will try for their first Tidewater Conference win Monday against visiting Cape Henry. The NSA vs. Cape Henry game was rescheduled from last Thursday and is now a 5:30 p.m. tip time.