NSA finishes dreary season

Published 10:36 pm Friday, February 15, 2013

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy freshman point guard Morgan Wentz puts up a shot against host Norfolk Christian’s defense on Thursday night. Despite Wentz’s team-leading 15 points, the Saints lost the regular season finale 78-40.

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy boys’ basketball team finished a frustrating regular season on Thursday night with a 78-40 loss against host Norfolk Christian.

Like most of this one-win season, NSA head coach Randolph Davis saw both the good and the bad in his team during its 32 minutes on the court.

“I would say we had flashes of brilliance, and then we didn’t,” he said. “I thought overall we didn’t play too badly. We scored more points than we usually do and we played pretty well. We at least shot the ball pretty well at times, but again, too many turnovers and too many fumbled balls, which didn’t lead to a really clean play that could have led to a score.”

Nansemond-Suffolk junior forward John Hogan (32) defends against Norfolk Christian during the Saints’ 78-40 road loss on Thursday night.


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The Saints had a slow start, trailing 24-7 after the first period, but they kept the Ambassadors from moving too far ahead with a 13-point second quarter, making it 40-20.

“It sort of stayed in that 20 to 25 range, and then they pushed it out a little bit more at the end,” Davis said.

He felt his team put together a good third quarter and it proved to be its best of the game, but it was still outscored 19-14.

Saints freshman point guard Morgan Wentz took more of a direct offensive role in the game, leading his team with 15 points.

“Basically, these past few games, I’ve been going in just thinking, ‘Just shoot more when I’m open. Just keep shooting,’” Wentz said.

Wentz was accompanied in double figures by junior forward John Hogan. Davis complimented Hogan’s game.

“He had 12 points and six rebounds and went to the foul line quite a bit, so he was doing his job inside,” Davis said. “He was (6-of-10) from the foul line.”

Davis noted that Hogan was the only one on the team to get to the line.

Junior forward Steven Minter also contributed six points and six rebounds.

The Saints ended up with an overall record of 1-25 and went 0-9 within the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools for the 2012-13 season.

Wentz, a team captain, gave his take on regular season as a whole.

“I would say the record wasn’t positive, but basically, I’m a freshman so I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself, so I’m just kind of out there playing, having fun, doing my thing,” he said.

The season is not over yet for the Saints, who still have the TCIS tournament to compete in. This represents yet another opportunity for the team to wipe the slate clean.

“That’s what we talked about last night,” Davis said on Friday. “We kind of said we had the beginning of the season and then we had 2013 starting and then we had the conference season starting. Now we have the tournament season starting. So, it’s again, you kind of look at this — you got to start fresh.

“Everybody’s 0-0 now when it comes to tournament time, and anything can happen in the tournament. We’ve just got to go out and play hard and continue to have fun and hopefully correct the mistakes we make and don’t turn the ball over as much and make some baskets and you never know what can happen.”

Tenth-seeded NSA will begin the TCIS tournament on the road against seventh-seeded Hampton Roads Academy on Monday.

“Everyone’s expecting us to lose,” Wentz said. “If (Hampton Roads Academy) were going to go in playing you easy, you’ve got to go in playing hard. We’ve played HRA twice. We know what they’re going to run, so we can win, we can easily win Monday.”

To make that happen, he said, the team must follow Coach Davis’ advice to play and enjoy it “because we play better when we’re relaxed and having fun.”