Saints’ season ends
Published 6:36 pm Saturday, February 27, 2016
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s boys’ basketball team saw its 2015-16 season come to a close this past week via a 65-38 loss to host Hampton Roads Academy in the conference tournament quarterfinals.
Saints coach Lamont Strothers had a particular mindset he tried to cultivate this season in his team, which finished with an 8-13 overall record.
“I’ve always told the kids to focus on the process and not the results,” he said, noting that people judge you by where you finish compared to where you start.
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Strothers was pleased with how his team progressed this season.
Nansemond-Suffolk faced a formidable Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools schedule that included area heavyweights like Norfolk Collegiate School, Cape Henry Collegiate School and HRA.
The Navigators held the No.-1 seed in the conference tournament and orchestrated 72-54 and 92-68 victories over NSA in the regular season.
But the No.-8 Saints were making those scores seem like mistakes with the way they started in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.
“We came out with a game plan, which was working,” Strothers said. “We won the first quarter.”
Nansemond-Suffolk ran a box-and-one defense designed to limit HRA senior guard Bryan Hart, the TCIS boys’ basketball Player of the Year. It seemed to rattle Hart and the Navigators, and the Saints entered the second quarter with a 15-12 lead.
Later, there were a couple of calls that Strothers said he thought were questionable.
“We were winning the second quarter, too,” he said, but when NSA freshman guard/forward Matthew Patterson had a third foul called on him, Strothers had to bench him.
As more than one of the Saints’ key players became mired in foul trouble, the Navigators went on a run and opened up a 34-20 lead at halftime.
“It was a good game for a while, and they just kind of pulled away,” Strothers said.
Another star senior guard for Hampton Roads Academy, Anthony Picott, ended up having a big game.
Despite the loss, some Nansemond-Suffolk players played with distinction in their final game of the season.
“Logan (Lokie) and Matt (Patterson) played well,” Strothers said. “They didn’t have big games point-wise, but they played well as far as defensively, and Hunter (Brinkley) hit some big shots, hit some big threes.”
For NSA guard Logan Lokie, forward Hunter Brinkley, forward David Richter and guard Matthew Shiembob, the contest was not just the final game of the season but the final game of their high school careers.
“Once I knew the game was out of reach, I just let my seniors play,” Strothers said.
And in terms of the Saints’ growth this season, their coach said he thought that “they left a good impression in everybody’s mind on how they progressed from the summer to now. And we got better in every aspect of the game.”