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Lady Patriots hosts Catawba Valley tonight

January 12, 2016

By: CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – One thing is guaranteed tonight when Patrick Henry and Catawba Valley square off in a Region X women’s basketball game at 5 p.m. in Stone Hall: A three-game losing streak will end.

Both the Patriots and Red Hawks enter tonight’s conference game as losers of three straight and seek their first wins in a month. Brian Henderson’s team hasn’t won since Dec. 12, when it defeated Delaware Tech 82-48. PHCC lost its first game since the break, Saturday, against Brunswick Community College.

The Lady Patriots look to move to 2-1 in region play with a win, and it will likely start with better ball control and a more consistent start, according to Henderson. The ladies had 20 turnovers and trailed by 33 at halftime in the loss to Brunswick. With a more inspiring second half in that loss, the Patriots look to build off that performance going forward.

“We’ve got to be able to play four quarters. We had three quarters where we showed what we could do and to win the game in the second half showed what we are capable of,” Henderson said of the loss to Brunswick. “Early in the season when we got hit in the mouth we’d stay down. Now, when we get hit we fight back.”

Like in its last outing, PHCC will have to contend with a slew of sophomores as Catawba Valley boasts a variety of scorers. Center Kianna Bowe leads the pack with a 14.5 points per game average, to go with her 9.8 rebounds per game. The Patriots’ bigs of Ebony Reynolds, Ruth Omolola, Kim Martin and Olivia Simpson are sure to be tested, Henderson said, as he expects the game to be very physical.

“We need to enter with a defense-first mentality. Pressure, pressure, pressure,” said Henderson of his team’s approach.

While the Red Hawks have struggled to score during their three-game skid, Bowe has scored no fewer than 11 points in each those games. Makenzie Eller, who averages 11 points and nine boards, as well, compliments Bowe well in the post which is where the game could be won. With that said, Henderson knows that winning the rebound battle will be critical.

Since putting up 82 and 81 points, respectively, in wins prior to the break, the PHCC offense has struggled to score, posting an average of 51 points during its three-game losing streak. With a 42-point effort in the second half on Saturday against Brunswick, Henderson hopes there will be a carry over into tonight’s matchup, and he said it starts by attacking the basket.

“We believe it’s nothing that the other team is doing against us, we just can’t give up points off turnovers and need to maximize our opportunities to score,” Henderson said. “We can’t have one-shot possessions and if we get to the basket then we have to crash the boards.”

Patrick County High School product and 1,000-point scorer Ebony Reynolds has been rock steady this season to the tune of 15.7 points per game and 11 rebounds per game. She has scored highs of 19 points twice this season.

Besides the size matchups on the interior, steady guard play for both teams will play a role as well. Catawba Valley averages over 22 turnovers per game to Patrick Henry’s 14. Lexi Dabney, Laprecious England and Kedra Bradley hope to put the pressure on the Red Hawks’ guards in generating transition points.

The Patriots go on the road after tonight’s game for a pair of games before closing out January with five straight home games beginning Jan. 21 against Lenoir and ending the 31st versus Cape Fear.

Filed under: Women's Basketball

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