NSA falls to Steward in title game
The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ basketball team fell to Steward School in the state title game last Saturday.
For the second straight postseason, Steward found a way to eliminate the Lady Saints. Last season, Steward defeated NSA to advance to the state championship, and this season they defeated them in the championship game.
In the previous two meetings, NSA was the victor; however, NSA was on the wrong side of the outcome Saturday in a 54-46 loss.
In an unusual start to the game for the Lady Saints, Steward jumped out to a 14-2 lead after one quarter. The Lady Saints couldn’t get much more going in the second quarter, scoring eight points while Steward continued to build on its impressive start. Steward went into halftime with a 28-10 lead.
In the second half, NSA turned things around, trying to make a comeback, but dug themselves too much of a hole in the first half to truly overcome.
“We came out extremely flat, and we had a little trouble getting into our offensive sets,” Coach Kim Aston said. “When we did get shots, they weren’t very good ones. We didn’t rebound as well as we could have, either.”
The first matchup against Steward during the regular season resulted in a 53-44 win, which clinched the conference regular season title for the Lady Saints. In the second matchup, the Lady Saints won 51-39 to win the conference tournament championship. As the favorite to win the title, a third matchup provided much more difficulty for NSA. But Aston didn’t want to take credit away from Steward, mentioning it was tough to beat a really good team three times.
“Both our games with them were close until about three or four minutes left in the game,” Aston said. “We were able to pull away in those previous meetings, but this time we dug such a deep hole we couldn’t get out. We outscored them by nine in the second half, but we were too far behind.”
Alivia Giles led the way for NSA with 23, with 19 coming in the second half.
NSA finishes the season with a 23-4 record to go along with conference regular season and tournament championships this season. They have the Conference Player of the Year and Coach of the Year in Giles and Aston, and they appear poised to add state accolades.
Steward 54, NSA 46
SS—Pittman 23, Traynham 20, Odibo 7, Fox 2, West 2
NSA—Giles 23, Council 6, Waddy 6, Reid 4, King 4, Sprangler 3