Saints stay ready

Published 5:31 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2018

With the weather postponing a lot of activities, the Saints hope to stay ready for the rest of their season.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy boys’ basketball team was supposed to play Wednesday evening, but because of the winter storm was unable to do so. The Saints were excited to get back into the swing of things after not playing a game since Dec. 19.

Saints coach Larry Ward tried to make a play for the team to get into a holiday tournament, but was a little too late. However, the Saints were still able to get some productive court time in over the holiday break. NSA has played eight games so far this season and hasn’t had the team at full strength for consecutive games yet. Over the break, NSA was able to get back point guard George Pettaway, who will step back in and immediately continue to make an impact for the Saints.

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While Pettaway was out, other players were able to get some quality experience. Ward wants to continue to expand his rotation to include the players that stepped in when Pettaway was out. Through the first eight games, Ward believes he and his team have learned a lot about themselves.

“We are coming together,” Ward said. “I like this group, and I like the way we are working. Now it is just a matter of watching it pay off when we get between the lines. We have worked extremely hard over the break, and we are kind of bummed we won’t be able to jump right back in and play yet.”

Ward says he breaks the season down into three phases. The Saints are currently entering the second phase, where they are starting to play more conference games. The key will be to get better each and every day, and Ward feels like his kids are doing that in their first year under him.

Over the holiday break, the Saints made sure they competed hard with one another to make each other better. In 2018, they have plans to be among one of the contenders in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools along with building on what they’ve done in late 2017.

“I’m a big believer in competing,” Ward said. “So, our practices aren’t for the faint of heart. We competed over the break to really find out where we stood as a team and who was going to put it all out there on a daily basis. With that said, we have a better understanding of our rotations and who fits into that.”

It is possible NSA will not be able to play any games or even practice the rest of the week. If that is the case, they will not play again until Jan. 11 against Christ Chapel Academy at home.