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Reynolds becoming a force for Lady Patriots

January 29, 2016

By: CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — During her illustrious high school career at Patrick County High School in southwest Virginia, Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) freshman Ebony Reynolds stood among the area’s best. Not much has changed in her brief time as a Patriot as the forward is quickly becoming a recognizable name in Region X.

A career 1,000-point scorer in high school, Reynolds has done everything so far that PHCC head coach Brian Henderson hoped she would when recruiting her to play at the junior college level. What he saw then and is seeing now, is a player that has all the intangibles to be a productive player at any college or university.

“What I saw in her during high school was her consistency,” Henderson said. “She could consistently score 10-12 points per game but never had the mentality of needing to score 25 points. She’d score what she could and then would add the rebounds and assists and was the consummate team player.”

Reynolds currently stands among the leaders in Region X in scoring and rebounding. Her 30-point effort Jan. 28 in a 66-60 loss against Lenoir Community College bumped her season scoring average to 17.1. She also recorded 12 rebounds in that game to keep her rebounding average at 12.7. The freshman is tied for third in Region X in scoring and is second in rebounding, while her double-double last time out was her fifth straight in January.

“She’s definitely putting up all-Region numbers, even all-American. I’ve never had someone come in and put up these type of numbers right away and we’re blessed to have her,” Henderson said.

Reynolds said the biggest adjustment she’s had to make at the college level is adapting to the increased pace of the game. Teams like to push the floor more which makes it more difficult to defend. Having to constantly look to outlet on rebounds or charge back in transition is something that wasn’t as frequent at the high school level, she said.

At 5-foot-10, Reynolds is the perfect hybrid at the 3, and said that developing her perimeter game and outside shooting was a top priority. Looking to transfer to a four-year school either after this season or next season, she added that becoming equally efficient on the wings was just as important as being productive in the post. Knowing she would have to deal with players taller than her, it also came down to finding ways to manipulate defenders with a variety of skills.

“I knew I would be smaller than I was in high school, so I wanted to pick up on my ball handling and become a better outside shooter,” Reynolds said. “I had to learn how to score against taller girls in the paint. In high school I could use one simple move and get away with it. Coming up to the college level I’ve had to develop more than one move to go to.

“Also, when I get the ball I don’t have time to think, I have to know where to go before the ball is coming,” she added.

Reynolds is one of a host of freshmen on the Patriots’ roster this season which Henderson hasn’t hesitated to throw into the fire. The coach admitted that each game is a learning process for his team but that Reynolds’ basketball IQ is one that stands out from most. The forward noted that in order to be successful at the college level, players need to think ahead of their opponent and can’t manipulate defenses in the same manner as in high school.

What has started to impress Henderson the most, however, is Reynolds’ initiative to become a vocal leader for the Lady Patriots. She has started to grasp the role of letting her teammates know where to be or how to find her in key scoring positions on the floor. Knowing that he is dealing with a young and growing team, Henderson added having someone step up and become a leader is invaluable during the maturation process. While he would love to have her back next season, he also knows his job is to push her to wherever she needs to go in order to propel her game to new heights.

As for Reynolds herself, she is never satisfied and generally sees herself as her biggest critic.

“Coming into every game I have to think that I’m an average player,” Reynolds said. “I’m never satisfied and I’m always looking to reach my full potential. To me, I’m never the best, I only want to get better.”

Reynolds and the rest of her Patriots teammates will have the chance to prove themselves this weekend (Jan. 30-31) when they host Region X leaders Bryant & Stratton and Cape Fear Community College at Stone Hall.

 

Filed under: Women's Basketball

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