Three isn’t lucky for Lady Saints
Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011
NORFOLK — Norfolk Academy topped Nansemond-Suffolk for the third time this girls basketball season, this time in the first round of the Tidewater Conference of Independent School Tournament by a 50-37 result.
The Lady Saints won six of their last nine games of the regular season, including four conference wins to be the No. 6 seed for the tourney.
While NSA put together a couple optimistic stretches in Tuesday night’s game, it wound up largely the same as NA’s two wins in the regular season. NA held the Lady Saint offense in the 30s in all three contests.
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The Lady Saints jumped out on a better offensive pace and traded the lead with the No. 3 Lady Bulldogs through most of the first half.
The hosts scored the first six points before Morgan Lokie’s three-pointer got NSA on the board. Jessica Pieroni’s jumper from the wing made it 6-6. Another Lokie trey put NSA up 11-8 and neither side scored for the last couple minutes of the first period.
Norfolk Academy got the first two hoops of the second period to move ahead again. NA held a 22-20 edge before rolling off three hoops in a matter of less than 30 seconds.
A poor Lady Saint pass near midcourt was intercepted and taken for a fast-break basket for the second hoop of the rally. NA turned a blocked shot into another breakaway lay-up seconds later. NA took a 28-24 lead to the half.
NSA’s first possession of the second half resulted in a turnover, leading to a Lady Bulldog basket.
NSA head coach Kim Aston called a timeout immediately. Too many turnovers plagued the Lady Saints the rest of the way NSA lost 13 of its 18 turnovers in the second half.
NSA was still in the game, down 36-30 nearing the end of the third period. In the last seconds of the quarter, NA turned a Lady Saint miss into a fast break and easy basket.
NA stole the ball in the backcourt and scored again at the horn to suddenly have its largest lead of the game, 42-30, going to the fourth.
The hosts gave the Lady Saints little chance to make up the margin the rest of the way. NA routinely took a minute or more off the clock per possession in the fourth quarter.
“Our defense played pretty well tonight, but on offense, turnovers are still killing us,” Aston said.
“A lot of times I think we’re doing it to ourselves. We have a bad habit of giving up a couple baskets, then we try to push the tempo. We scored zero points on fast breaks tonight, so there’s no need for us to push the tempo,” Aston said.
Lokie led NSA with 12 points, all in the first half. Pieroni added 10 points.
Norfolk Academy won the rebounding category 32-21 and used that advantage to take 15 more field goal attempts.
The Lady Saints go to 10-12 with their season likely over. It’s not definite, as the coaches’ poll to determine the 12 schools for the VIS Div. I State Tournament is still to come.