Undisciplined play costs NSA

Published 10:45 pm Friday, February 1, 2013

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Lady Saints got off to a disciplined start at home on Thursday, but they pushed themselves out of any kind of rhythm and lost 60-35 to the Cape Henry Lady Dolphins.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy freshman guard Harper Birdsong tries to get around the Cape Henry defense during Thursday night's 60-35 home loss for the Lady Saints.

“We were up 9-4, I think, at the beginning of the game,” NSA head coach Kim Aston said. “We were running our offense and getting good shots.”

The Lady Saints led 9-6 after the first quarter. They trailed by seven at halftime, but were still in the game.

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“We were playing pretty even, we just weren’t hitting shots, but then in the second half we just never really ran offenses,” Aston said.

The Lady Dolphins had a full court press that Nansemond-Suffolk had to work around, which it did much of the time. But then came the problem.

“We were just rushing on offense and once we beat the press, we were taking shots without setting up an offense,” Aston said. “So therefore when we do that, we don’t have rebounding, because teammates don’t know that a shot’s going up, whereas when we run a set play, they know where our shots come from.”

Nansemond-Suffolk did not get the production it needed from its stars.

“Jessica (Pieroni) only had eight points, and she’s averaging close to 18,” Aston said.

“When we run our offense, we call (offensive) sets to get her shots,” Aston said. “But when we don’t run the offense, then even if she gets a shot, it’s out of rhythm.”

Freshman point guard Harper Birdsong led the Lady Saints with 15 points, but struggled passing the ball, resulting in 12 of the team’s 24 turnovers. Aston explained that it was not a matter of Birdsong succumbing to Cape Henry’s defense resulting in steals.

“She handled the ball great against pressure,” Aston said. “The turnovers are coming when (she’s) just trying to force passes to people.”

NSA junior guard/forward Kaylor Nash had an impressive 18 rebounds, but the rest of the team only had 14. She also got to the hoop frequently, but she was only 4-of-10 from the free throw line.

“Kaylor only had eight points; she could have had a lot more,” Aston said.

Defensively, Coach Aston felt her team was pretty strong until the fourth quarter, when it began to fall further behind and started to take chances.

“We just were gambling, because we were trying to get the ball back,” Aston said.

Nansemond-Suffolk was outscored 20-7 in the final period.

She shared what needs to happen in the future for her team.

“We just have to play with composure,” she said. “That’s the bottom line.”

NSA (14-5, 3-1) will play at home on Tuesday against Norfolk Academy.