NSA ready for state tournament

Published 9:44 pm Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Lady Saints are happy about where they are as they prepare for the state tournament.

The tourney starts Tuesday, and the Lady Saints are likely to be on the road. NSA recently competed in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament, where the team won its first-round game hosting Norfolk Collegiate. They advanced to the semifinals but took a loss to No. 1 seed Steward School.

Coach Kim Aston felt like her team played better than what the score indicated that night and feels confident about her team going forward. More often than not, NSA has put together a complete game this season. They are inexperienced but have a couple of playmakers who can make a difference in any game.

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“We did some good things in that game,” Aston said. “Defensively we did a good job, but we missed some shots we normally make or could have made, which could have made a difference. I was happy with some of the things we did.”

Last year, NSA won its opening state tournament matchup before going on to lose in the next round. Some of the returners on the team this year experienced that, but overall NSA has a young team. Inexperience can show itself in the postseason; however, the Lady Saints want to go out and give their best effort.

“I am glad we are able to get another chance to play again,” senior guard Kaylah Brown said. “I feel like we can take this opportunity to bounce back and compete.”

“Looking back at our past games, we can see the mistakes, and we can only get better by fixing them,” Alivia Giles said. “I know we are all proud of where we are now, and we just have to focus and bring our intensity to the court and play our game.”

NSA doesn’t score a bunch of points, so they will have to rely on their defense to put them in good scoring positions. Aston believes playing high-level defense will put them over the hump. There have been growing pains this season with the younger players adjusting, but Aston feels her team has gotten better.

“I think our team has done a pretty good job with our implemented defense,” Aston said. “We don’t have a big shot blocker in the middle, but our defense has been able to be successful.”

In order to be successful in the state tournament, Aston believes her team has to take care of the ball and play sound and solid defense.