NSA downed at the buzzer

Published 8:25 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ basketball team fell by way of a buzzer-beater to Norfolk Christian in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools championship on Saturday.

NSA lost 56-54.

The game started off shaky for the Lady Saints, who were down 16-11 in the opening quarter.


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A huge second quarter by NSA, in which the team outscored Norfolk Christian 20-8, gave NSA a 31-24 lead at the half. In the third quarter, Norfolk Christian swung the momentum back its way, outscoring NSA and taking the lead into the fourth quarter.

During the fourth quarter, NSA and Norfolk Christian went back and forth. With about 10 seconds left to play and the game tied, NSA trapped all passes, quickly getting the ball out of Norfolk Christian players’ hands. The ball fell into Heavyn Gibson’s hands from, and the Norfolk Christian player made a mid-range jumper at the buzzer, giving her team the championship.

The teams each have won one against each other. Even though NSA lost the TCIS tournament, the Lady Saints still will be playing in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s Division II state tournament.

Despite the loss, NSA’s Kelly Hogan, Kaylah Brown and Lindsay Knierbein were named to the TCIS All-Tournament team.

Brown has shot well from the field, and NSA will benefit from her playing her best basketball right now with the state tournament here. In the first two games of the TCIS tournament, she made eight three-pointers, shooting them at a 50 percent rate.

Knierbein had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the semifinals to help propel the Lady Saints into the finals. Hogan provided a good inside presence for the Lady Saints.

Throughout the state tournament, NSA coach Kim Aston believes teams will try to pressure her team, but she expects the Lady Saints to find success in taking care of the ball.