SA tops off year in holiday tournaments

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Southampton Academy Raiders will conclude their year in a pair of road tournaments, and they went 1-1 in the first one, the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Holiday Classic Tournament, this past weekend.

The Raiders ended the weekend on Saturday playing Broadwater Academy in a Division III VISAA non-conference matchup. The taller Vikings took the game 59-53.

Harrison Pope goes under the rim for a lay up. Pope had nine points against Broadwater Academy. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News

Harrison Pope goes under the rim for a lay up. Pope had nine points against Broadwater Academy. — Cain Madden | Tidewater News

In the first quarter, Broadwater started out with a 5-0 lead, before SA’s Matt Rose banked one in. Harrison Pope followed that up with a steal and a layup that made it a one-point game. On the other end, Keegan Czesak had a four point play that helped the Vikings start to pull away. First, Czesak was fouled in shot, and after making his first free throw, he missed the second. The Vikings recovered, and Czesak swished in a 3-point basket.

Around the 2-minute mark, Southampton edged closer on an Andrew Lowe three-point basket, but Broadwater would take this quarter 15-9.

With a little over two minutes to go in the half, the Vikings had pulled away with a 24-16 lead, off of another Czesak three-pointer. Lowe brought the score within four on a layup, but defensive stops by both team held that score until the half.

A pair of three-point baskets, one from Czesak and the other from Taylor Major, began the third quarter, as the Exmore-based team went up 30-20 with a minute having passed.

As the minutes ticked by, Southampton chipped away at the score; Lowe and Rose hit jumpers, followed by Pope going to the free throw line and making one to close the gap to 34-31.

Rose got the rebound on the second shot, got it back to Lowe, who tied it with a three-pointer.

However, BA started to pull away again, and the Vikings entered the fourth quarter with a 45-36 lead. By the fourminute mark, Broadwater had extended its lead to 13.

As the minutes were closing, the Raiders tried to chip away at that lead; however, the passing game left a little to be desired as a few costly turnovers gave Broadwater a few easy baskets.

Despite that, they played solid on the defensive end, and at the 1:10 mark, Jack Smith closed the gap to 54-50 with a three-pointer. At this point, the Raiders switched to a full court press and started fouling if they couldn’t create a turnover. Free throws extended the Viking lead 55-50, and Rose came up short on a floater and not getting a whistle in between possessions.

After Major hit both of his free throws, Smith hit another three to close the score to 57-53. Major hit one of his free throws on the next possession, but at this point, the Raiders went cold with Lowe and Smith missing on three-pointers.

Lowe did hit four three-pointers on the night, however, and he led all scorers with 22 points. Matt Rose had 10 and Harrison Pope had nine. For Broadwater, Czesak and Major both added 19 points.

Rose also had 12 rebounds, and Pope had six. Paul Parker had four steals.

“In most of the first half, we just got out-hustled,” said head coach Chris Pope on the loss. “In the second half, we played better, but we did not shoot particularly well except in spurts. But we scrapped, and we made a match out of it.”

The Raiders played Denbigh Baptist on Friday night, winning 63-46.

Harrison Pope led all scorers with 21 points, and Matt Rose added 11. Rose had 13 rebounds, and Pope added eight. Paul Parker had five steals.

“We were more aggressive in going to the basket,” Coach Pope said about the Denbigh game. “We had more turnovers than I’d like to see, but we made up for that by being aggressive.”

After the Holiday Classic, the Raiders are 5-2 on the season.

This upcoming weekend, SA will travel to Brunswick Academy for the Battle of the Border, where they will play Halifax Academy of Halifax, North Carolina, and Crossroads Christian School of Henderson, North Carolina.

After taking New Year’s week off, the Raiders will be in action on Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Kenston Forest. On Friday, Jan. 9, Southampton Academy will play its first home game of the season against Richmond Christian School.

“I think our kids will be happy to play at home,” Pope said. “We haven’t had one all year. We’ll have played 10 away games before playing our first home game.”