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Lady Patriots fall to Brunswick

January 10, 2016

By CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The freshman of Patrick Henry Community College’s women’s basketball team didn’t back down from Brunswick Community College’s steady dose of sophomores Saturday afternoon. Now, the next step going forward for the Lady Patriots, is finishing a more complete 40 minutes.

PHCC fell behind 32-7 after the first quarter and trailed by more than 30 at the half in falling to Region X opponent Brunswick 82-62 at Stone Hall in Martinsville. Virginia High School League, Piedmont District standouts, Lexi Dabney (Danville, VA) and Ebony Reynolds (Patrick County, VA) paced the Patriots with 16 points apiece. Reynolds added 13 rebounds for a double-double.

Brianna Baham scored a game-high 27 points for Brunswick, including 14 in the first quarter. D’asya Wilson chipped in with 16-first half points on her way to 24 for the game. The duo combined for 23 of the first-quarter points, while doing their part in neutralizing the glass and pushing the Dolphins in transition.

Brunswick (8-4) opened the first three minutes of the game on a 9-0 run, while PHCC was held scoreless for nearly five minutes until Kedra Bradley (Danville, VA) broke the ice with a 3-pointer. The Dolphins responded with an 11-2 run over the next two minutes and closed out on a 12-2 spurt to take a 25-point, first-quarter lead. Brunswick head coach Joe Gaughan said his leading tandem helped earn high-percentage shots, fueling the early lead.

“Both (Baham and Wilson) have a really high basketball IQ. They can take what we say as they come up the floor, and make sure everyone is flowing and moving in the offense like they should be,” Gaughen said.

Dabney started heating up with eight of her points in the second quarter. That helped bring the deficit to 20, but the Dolphins were able to make another crippling run to increase the lead to 33 with just over three minutes to play in the first half.

“Brunswick had some sophomores that have seen every zone, have seen every press, and so our young ladies need to be able to understand how to see what’s going on. Knowing when the defense is shading over for example is the consistency we need to see,” said fourth-year Patriots coach Brian Henderson.

Henderson told his team at halftime to pick up the focus and match Brunswick’s intensity to start the second half. The Patriots adhered to the talk and kept the Dolphins off the board for the first four minutes of the third quarter. A 22-12 10-minute segment got PHCC inside the 25 points it trailed by after the opening quarter. The Patriots pulled back to within 20 points midway through the final 10 minutes but got no closer.

“We felt that we had to play harder, play stronger,” said Dabney. “We didn’t play a good first half. The only thing I focused on was handling the ball and get open or find one of my teammates.”

Reynolds scored 10 of her points in the second half and became more assertive in the post and on the glass. PHCC, however, was undone by 20 turnovers as Reynolds and Dabney combined for 11.

Henderson said he was encouraged by the 42-29 turnaround in the second half and the plus-22 differential in scoring. Coming off the winter break, starting slow was something Henderson prepared for and hopes to limit any early deficits in the future.

The Patriots will try and rebound Tuesday when they host Region X foe Catawba Valley Community College at 5 p.m.

Filed under: Women's Basketball

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