Saints clinch postseason berth in win

Published 10:26 pm Friday, January 30, 2015

Defense and a height advantage helped Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s boys’ basketball team ensure it would reach the postseason by giving the Saints the edge in a 62-53 conference win on Thursday against host Norfolk Christian School.

“We came out in the first half, played really well,” NSA coach Chris Prince said, adding his team imposed its will, “picked it up on the defensive end, got some turnovers, didn’t give them a lot of easy shots.”

On the other end of the court, the Saints did get some high percentage shots in the first half.

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“We executed our offense well, and we got the ball down low to C.J. (Patterson),” Prince said. “He had a mismatch. A lot of their kids were (6 foot 2 inches) and under.”

Patterson, a 6-foot-5-inch senior, led all scorers with 27 points and added 19 rebounds.

“We’ve known all along he’s got this kind of game in him,” Prince said.

It has been a stellar week for Patterson, who recorded 18 points and 18 rebounds in Nansemond-Suffolk’s 48-39 road win against Peninsula Catholic High School on Tuesday.

“He’s done a lot of good things for us. He’s hitting the boards hard, going after it,” Prince said.

While Patterson had a few jump shots on Thursday, he was mainly scoring in the paint.

“We’re getting him the ball in spots where he can be successful,” Prince said.

The Saints held a 32-12 lead against the Ambassadors at halftime.

Prince noted that his team’s goal for the second half was to stay strong and command a sizable lead in order to allow NSA’s reserve players to log some playing time.

Unfortunately, Norfolk Christian began to have a significant amount of success from three-point range.

“They got a little bit of a shooting streak,” Prince said. “We didn’t play a real clean second half, but luckily our big lead was still there.”

The coach described Thursday’s game as having trended in the exact opposite way that the two teams’ first meeting had this season, though the end result was similar. On Jan. 8, the Saints were good in the second half, but not the first, en route to a 54-29 victory.

Only Thursday’s game counted toward each squad’s conference record, though, and it had significant postseason implications for Nansemond-Suffolk.

“This victory actually sealed up a chance for us to play in the (Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools) tournament, which we haven’t played in for several years,” Prince said.

Saints senior Drew Corrigan contributed 12 points to the win, while junior Logan Lokie scored nine.

“Keith Cooper did a nice job on the backboards,” Prince said, noting the senior grabbed nine boards, which helped NSA out-rebound Norfolk Christian 50-28.

Nansemond-Suffolk (7-11, 2-3) hosts Norfolk Academy in another conference showdown on Tuesday.