Saints fall to Cape Henry

Published 9:08 pm Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy boys’ basketball team took a loss in the first round of the TCIS tournament.

The 55-50 loss to Cape Henry Collegiate in the first round of the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools could potentially have ended the Saints’ season. NSA went on the road Tuesday evening and was eliminated by Cape Henry, who had advanced to the TCIS semifinal.

Saints coach Larry Ward felt his team didn’t play its best 32 minutes Tuesday night. Even though the Saints were down 15 points at one point, they were able to fight back and put themselves back in the game.

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“The guy started to claw and fight back in the last couple minutes of the game,” Ward said. “We had a chance, but credit to Cape Henry. I am proud of my guys. We made tremendous progress, and we have put a nice foundation together. We have something to be really excited about.”

The loss could potentially conclude the team’s first season under Ward. NSA has a chance to make the state tournament; however, they will not know until Sunday if they did. The Saints currently have a 13-10 record and could finish with that for the season. If the Saints do make the state tournament, they are likely to be road warriors.

Nonetheless, Ward was satisfied with his first year coaching the Saints. He had last coached five years ago but came back happy with the way players were able to respond and take in his coaching style.

“Change is not easy, but I felt this team adjusted well,” Ward said. “We continued to get better and better throughout the year. We had some very close games this year that could have gone either way. We had our fair share of wins, but now we will focus on skill development in the offseason and make sure we are prepared to win more close games next year.”

NSA will lose seniors D.J. White and Spencer Salmon. They have a good crop of underclassmen returning for next year with experience under their belts.

“After the game, I told the guys that they have laid down a good foundation for continued success,” Ward said. “We played a challenging schedule, and we went 5-4 in the conference. That is a good step for this program. I am proud of the guys in that locker room.”

Cape Henry 55, NSA 50

CH—Rucker 16, Sobers 13, Moore 8, Spell 7, Bannister 5, Pope 5, Cutler 1

NSA—Freeman 18, Spencer 16, White 9, Pettaway 7