Lady Saints return with seasoning
Published 10:07 pm Thursday, January 2, 2014
The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ basketball team finished its run in Florida with a winning record on Monday and a good tone entering the 2014 portion of the season.
The Lady Saints defeated Alabama’s Pisgah High School, 65-56, to go 2-1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. NSA finished in third place in its bracket at KSA Events’ 2013 Holiday Girls’ Basketball tournament.
Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Kim Aston said her team came out flat, likely from fatigue. Though the Eagles were an unfamiliar team, they presented a familiar challenge for the Lady Saints.
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“The team that we played was very good defensively and put a lot of pressure on us all over the place,” Aston said.
As the game progressed, NSA’s handling of the pressure improved.
“We kind of got used to it, in a sense,” senior guard Macy Mears said.
Mears ran the point for part of the game.
“Pretty much, she kept us in the game early on,” Aston said of Mears. “She hit a couple big shots, and she handled the ball pretty well against the pressure.”
Mears ended up with a game-high 20 points to go with seven rebounds and two assists.
For her strong performances in all three games, Mears earned the Most Valuable Player designation for NSA.
Her team needed every bit of what she could provide on Monday, because Aston said, “It was pretty much a four- or five-point game most of the way.”
Since the referees did not call many fouls, Aston said, the aggressiveness of senior guard/forward Kaylor Nash was very important.
“She had a lot of rebounds, played really tough in the paint,” Aston said. “She rebounded the ball really well throughout the tournament.”
On Monday, Nash had 16 boards to go with nine points, three assists and two steals.
Senior guard/forward Jessica Pieroni finished with 19 points.
Sophomore center Caroline Hogg contributed seven points, six rebounds and three blocks.
Aston said she thought her team could have gone 3-0, but still felt good about the trip.
“I thought it was a great experience,” she said. “I think the kids had a lot of fun. I think there was a lot of team-building that took place.”
Some of the players recalled their highlights from the trip.
“We went there to play basketball, but it was still a lot of fun hanging out with the team,” Nash said. “I think we had some good competition, and we worked on some things that we needed to work on and had fun at the same time with going to the parks and stuff. We played a game in the morning, usually, and then after a game we would go eat lunch and then go to a park for the rest of the day,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Mears said the trip “should have a very positive impact” as the rest of the season unfolds.
Nansemond-Suffolk (5-2) visits Hampton Roads Academy on Tuesday.