Saints snap losing streak

Published 10:45 pm Friday, January 27, 2012

By Tray Mason

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy took advantage of a big second half to snap its three-game losing streak, beating Peninsula Catholic 49-38 Thursday evening.

In a game where both teams seemed to match up well with each other, neither could gain an advantage, and the score showed that as the Saints led just 12-9 after the first quarter.

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Peninsula Catholic did its best to take out NSA’s leading scorer, Breon Willie, with a box-and-one zone defense, and it worked for majority of the half, as Willie did minimal scoring in the first two periods. The teams were all square at 22 at halftime.

But the game opened up for the Saints in the second half. After Peninsula Catholic took a brief 25-23 lead to start, Willie answered, scoring seven straight points for his team to give the Saints a 32-27 lead halfway through the third quarter.

With NSA on a 9-2 run and rolling, things would get worse for PC after its toughest defender, Kevin Sullivan, picked up his fourth foul with 2:52 to play in the third. NSA allowed just one field goal from its opponents in the third, outscoring Peninsula Catholic 14-2.

PC would make one last charge, cutting the lead to single digits early in the fourth quarter, but it would not be enough, as the Saints won, 49-38.

“Breon Willie has been playing above and beyond,” NSA head coach Clint Wright said after the game. “He’s our senior leader, and when he plays well, we all play well.”

The two lone seniors for NSA stepped up in a big way. Willie finished the game with 16 points on 5 of 14 shooting. A.J. Hicks tacked on 10 points to go along with five rebounds.

On a team that features seven underclassmen, Wright feels Nansemond-Suffolk has grown past its youth and is ready to make a run.

“The last couple of months, teams have said, ‘You guys are very young,’” Wright said. “We’ve played enough basketball to not blame that. It’s just a matter of guys doing what they’re told.”

The win was a much-needed confidence booster with an upcoming game against Bishop Sullivan Catholic looming. The Saints lost to BSC 82-27 earlier this season.

The Saints will be at home against BSC Tuesday at 7 p.m.