NSA crushes Ambassadors

Published 11:03 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ basketball team picked up this week where it left off on Saturday when it scored a 29-point blowout win in the conference tournament championship.

The No. 2 Lady Saints hosted No. 7 Norfolk Christian High School on Wednesday evening in the VISAA Division II state quarterfinals. They led the Lady Ambassadors 28-6 at halftime and ran away with a 67-31 victory.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy sophomore point guard Harper Birdsong drives during the Lady Saints’ 67-31 state quarterfinal win over visiting Norfolk Christian High School on Wednesday.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy sophomore point guard Harper Birdsong drives during the Lady Saints’ 67-31 state quarterfinal win over visiting Norfolk Christian High School on Wednesday.

Because of snow days, NSA’s eight-game regular season conference schedule was compressed into a 12-day span, and the only game the Lady Saints did not win by double figures was against Norfolk Christian on Feb 14. They prevailed by six, 51-45.

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Asked if she was surprised Wednesday’s game was a blowout, senior guard/forward Jessica Pieroni said, “Honestly, no, because I knew what we were capable of.”

Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Kim Aston said she was not comfortable with her team’s previous play against the Lady Ambassadors.

“But we made some adjustments, defensively,” she said regarding Wednesday’s contest.

Senior guard/forward Kaylor Nash said, “Our defense was a lot better this game.”

She helped out with 12 points, nine rebounds — six of them offensive — and two steals.

Pieroni led all scorers in the game with 22 points on 77 percent shooting and also grabbed seven boards. Senior guard Macy Mears had 13 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals while sophomore point guard Harper Birdsong had nine points, 10 assists, seven boards and four steals. Sophomore center Caroline Hogg finished with six points, seven rebounds and seven blocks.

The win marked the achievement of the Lady Saints’ second post-season goal — advancing further in the state tournament than they did last year.

NSA now stands two games away from a state championship.

“It’s exciting, but one game at a time,” Pieroni said.

Nansemond-Suffolk (21-2) will play the remainder of the tournament at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville. The Lady Saints will face No. 3 Miller School of Albemarle on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state semifinals.