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Lady Patriots down the Red Hawks 72-57

January 12, 2016

By: CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va – Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) freshman guard Lexi Dabney has the ability to change a game at any moment. Tuesday against visiting Catawba Valley, the Danville native caught fire in the third quarter and the Lady Patriots never looked back.

PHCC rebounded from a 20-point loss to Brunswick over the weekend with a convincing 72-57 Region X victory over the Red Hawks at Stone Hall in Martinsville. Dabney scored 12 third-quarter points on her way to a game-high 20, including three 3-pointers in the second half.

Coming off the bench, Dabney helped spark a 21-9 third-quarter surge, helping put the Patriots in cruise control for the final quarter. She finished 7-of-10 from the floor while adding four assists and three steals.

“Talking to Lexi, she is starting to feel comfortable being that super sixth man,” PHCC coach Brian Henderson said. “The greatest thing a coach wants to see is when a player gets it going and the players on the bench start screaming to get her the ball. You know then that the team is together and we hope to build on that.”

Patrick County High School product Ebony Reynolds also added 20 points to bump her season average to nearly 18 points per game. The forward scored in every quarter and posted another double-double with 11 rebounds. Reynolds, like Dabney, posted good shooting numbers by connecting on nine of 17 attempts.

Looking to start the game better than it did last time out, PHCC helped its cause by getting Catawba Valley’s key scorers in early foul trouble. The Red Hawks’ Kianna Bowe and TaKeyra Thomas were unable to assert themselves early while MaKenzie Eller off the bench also got into foul trouble, limiting CVCC’s offense.

“We knew coming in that (Catawba Valley’s) strength was their bigs,” Reynolds said. “We packed down on them and the coaches told us to stay low and not be scared. In practice we knew (Bowe) was going to be their strongest going to the basket, so we had to double her and make sure someone was on her at all times.”

After the Red Hawks’ Ciera Rucker hit a 3 to tie the game after the first quarter, the Patriots took off in the second. A 9-2 run to open the frame gave them a seven-point lead 2:30 into the quarter. Precious England knocked down a traditional 3-point play minutes later for a 25-19 lead, but it was 9-0 run over the closing minutes that helped establish the first double-digit lead of the game. QuyTisha Marion halted the spurt with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, cutting the Catawba Valley deficit to within 10 at the half.

England finished with nine points and six assists running the point.

The third quarter was where the Lady Pats took flight as England’s former G.W.-Danville teammate, Dabney, sparked a 10-2 run with a pair of 3-pointers. Her string of buckets gave PHCC a 48-33 lead with four minutes left in the quarter. The ladies then upped the lead to 20 with a little more than two minutes remaining.

“We all want to be role players, play for each other and be a team that feeds off each other. When it’s going well, everyone is feeding off that energy,” Henderson said. “We had a defense first mentality and were able to score a lot off our defense (tonight). Getting stops was huge, because it allowed us to run the floor and our shooters were confident.”

Bowe finally scored in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and finished with seven points, half of her season average. Eller led all CVCC scorers with 10 points.

Reynolds said it was a great bounce-back game for the team, and that the practice time leading in to the game played a big part.

“It starts in practice, and when we come off a loss we know we have to go hard in practice to get better,” Reynolds said. “This win is really going to pick up our confidence where we go into the next game looking for a win.”

The Patriots head to the road for their next two games, starting Thursday at Region X, Division I Denmark Tech. They’ll then face Guilford Tech Jan. 19 before closing out the month with five straight home games.

Filed under: Women's Basketball

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