Lady Patriots face difficult weekend slate

January 30, 2016


MARTINSVILLE, Va. — If losing three straight games wasn’t already tough enough, then welcoming NJCAA Region X, Division II leaders Bryant & Stratton and Cape Fear Community College for a weekend back-to-back could be considered downright daunting.

That’s what the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) women’s basketball team faces this weekend (Jan. 30-31) as it looks to regain some traction in the Region X standings. Not only that, it also looks to use the big weekend slate to boost a bit of confidence back into a team that has struggled to find consistency.

PHCC’s women continue their four-game homestand against Bryant & Stratton at 2 p.m. Saturday and then turn around within 24┬áhours to face Cape Fear at 1 p.m. Sunday. Bryant & Stratton suffered its first loss in the conference Jan. 27 at Louisburg (82-75) and sits atop of the standings at 8-1. Cape Fear has won 15 straight games and could enter Sunday’s showdown on a 16-game winning streak if it beats Guilford Tech on Saturday.

The Sea Devils’ only loss ironically came against Bryant & Stratton in the season opener Nov. 7.

The Patriots’ last loss against conference bottom feeder Lenoir Community College on Jan. 28 seemed to leave a paralyzing effect as they left the court. It was the first win in the conference for Lenoir while it was the fifth loss for PHCC in January, having won just once in its last seven games.

Lady Patriots coach Brian Henderson said his team needs to become tougher on its home floor where it has a 2-3 record. He looks at this series of games as a chance for his team to grow and surprise the conference’s best. Regardless of the result, he said, he has little doubt that his ladies will be motivated to get some of their confidence back.

“We know that the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the conference are going to come in here and take it to us,” Henderson said. “It comes down to whoever brings it that day and I’m going into this with optimism. We have got to go into this thinking that we are going to play our hearts out, be scrappy and not back down just because we see a No. 1 or No. 2 ranking.”

Henderson added that it’s too deep into the season to be making excuses.The schedule over the next few weeks lends itself to opportunity and more frequent play, which will hopefully lead to better consistency, he said. The importance in this weekend’s matchups also lies in the fact that the Lady Pats could see one of these teams in the opening round of the conference tournament.

Bryant & Stratton ranks among the conference’s best defenses at 51.7 points allowed per game. The Bobcats have good balance inside and outside with three key scorers in Gabrielle Swinson, Breona Cowan and Khala Downing, as Swinson leads the pack with 16.8 points per game.

Cape Fear posses probably the deepest roster in Region X. It escaped with a 61-59 win Jan. 24 at home against Catawba Valley last time out. Henderson said the Sea Devils are a sound fundamental team that shoots the ball well from all over the floor.

The Patriots conclude their homestand Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. against Louisburg.


Filed under: Women's Basketball