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Lady Pats can’t slow down Cape Fear in 91-49 loss

January 31, 2016

By: CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Few teams this season have been able to match the all-around athleticism of the Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) women’s basketball team. More importantly, it’s the Sea Devils’ inside game that continues to give the rest of Region X fits.

Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) was the latest to have any answer for the balanced CFCC attack as the Lady Patriots suffered their worst defeat of the season Sunday with a 91-49 loss at home in Stone Hall. It was the 17th straight win for Cape Fear, ranked 12th in NJCAA, Division II, as it earned the weekend road sweep with a win over Guilford Tech on Saturday (Jan. 30) — the first victory over the Titans in the program’s history.

Sea Devil freshman post players Destiny Campbell and Desaree Green used their 6-foot-1 and 6-foot frames to dominate around the basket, combining for 36 points. The Sea Devils had 11 of their 12 players who played score as sophomore guard Monica Alexander added 16, and freshman guard Chrystall Jerome rounded out the double-figure scoring with 14.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that our post players are probably the better part of our team,” first-year CFCC coach Chris Harris said. “I don’t think we’ve seen many teams in our region match up well with our inside play. With our scouting reports and knowing their zone, it could’ve been easy to become perimeter oriented and get away from our strength. I thought we did a good job of going inside with it and I think that was the difference in the game.”

Patriots freshman forward Ebony Reynolds still managed to exceed her season averages in the loss with team high’s of 20 points and 15 rebounds. She at times managed to neutralize Campbell and Green in the post before eventually fouling out with 6:28 left in the fourth quarter. Freshman Lexi Dabney added 11 points as the only other double-digit scorer, while sophomore Kim Martin had four points and 10 rebounds.

The Sea Devils (17-1, 9-1) still managed to hit six 3-pointers, and their guards had just as much of an impact, according to PHCC coach Brian Henderson. With the attention given to the bigs inside, he said the guards were able to make things happen and open up the space underneath. Defensively, too, they had a hand in 23 PHCC turnovers.

“With the size of (CFCC’s) bigs you cannot think you can’t out jump them, but they’re very good and have the guards around them that get them the ball,” Henderson said.

Campbell asserted her dominance early, scoring seven of her 13 points in the first quarter and had six of her team’s first eight points. Campbell, however, got in early foul trouble forcing her early rebounding and scoring to the bench. The Patriots used an 8-2 run, capped by a Dabney 3, during Campbell’s time off the floor to only trail 20-15 after the first quarter.

A 3-for-9 effort by PHCC (4-10, 2-4) from the free-throw line in the opening quarter, after finding the bonus early, kept them from having the lead. It finished the game 7-for-19 from the charity stripe.

Green then changed the game in the second quarter with her mid-range jumper. The Patriots used a 7-2 run over the first two minutes with a trapping zone to tie the game at 22. A 9-0 Sea Devils run fueled by the defensive pressure of their guards opened up a multi-possession lead for the first time since early in the first. Green then finished out the half by scoring all nine of her points in succession for a 47-32 lead.

Green had 20 points the day before against Guilford Tech and Harris said that her and Campbell have developed a difficult matchup for teams.

Cape Fear extinguished the game early in the third quarter and didn’t allow Patrick Henry to formulate a come back. A 10-0 run over the first 3:45 opened up a 25-point lead. A 28-5 fourth quarter by the Sea Devils then put the finishing touches on a 44-17 second-half.

“Overall, if you watch our team play it’s with defensive intensity and that’s our bread and butter; making stops and forcing turnovers,” Harris said. “(PHCC) did a good job of handling the press sometimes, and because of foul trouble, we had to go back into the half court. I thought when we did, we still did a good job of defending.

“There are going to be runs in basketball but you have to make defensive runs as well as offensive ones. We did both and did a good job taking our game to the next level,” he added.

Henderson said fatigue started to show with his team late. Dealing with a thin bench and key players in foul trouble the lapses in focus, especially in the fourth led to big Cape Fear runs. He also noted that not having guard Kedra Bradley available hindered his team in dealing with the three-quarter court trap by the Sea Devils.

Bradley is out indefinitely as she appeals a possible season-long suspension by the NJCAA for an incident Saturday (Jan. 30). She exited the floor and into the stands during an altercation late in the Patriots’ 72-70 win over Bryant & Stratton. Upon tape review it was determined that Bradley broke conduct rules and Henderson is appealing the ruling.

“Kedra’s been our most athletic player, and on the defensive end she can definitely create some problems for other teams as seen against Bryant & Stratton,” Henderson said. “Losing her takes away from our guard play, but at the end of the day, we can’t let that distract us. It’s up to the next player to step up into the position.”

Cape Fear will host the Lady Pats in Wilmington, N.C. on Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. PHCC concludes a four-game homestand Tuesday (Feb. 2) against No. 19 Louisburg College at 5 p.m.

Filed under: Women's Basketball

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