Lady Patriots open playoffs vs. Guilford Tech

March 3, 2016

SUPPLY, N.C. — When the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) women’s basketball team opens up the postseason at 6 p.m. tonight (Mar. 3) at Brunswick Community College, they’ll be considered underdogs.

Lady Patriots head coach Brian Henderson said that suits his team just fine.

“Yeah, we’re the six seed and as a six seed you’re not expected to do much and now you’re the underdog,” Henderson said. “Now, our ladies are buying into being the underdog and proving to people that we are so much more than what the statistics say. We have some players that have shown they can put up some big numbers.”

PHCC takes on No. 3 seed Guilford Tech in the opening round of the Region X tournament. The Patriots (8-14) defeated the Titans 71-60 in the final home game of the season Feb. 18. The victory atoned for a 77-58 loss outside of Greensboro, N.C. on Jan. 19. The winner will play the winner of the 2-7 game between Louisburg College and Lenoir Community College on Friday.

The win over Guilford Tech two weeks ago may arguably be the best game PHCC’s women have played all season. The Lady Patriots had the fewest turnovers allowed in a game this season (10), had a season-high 57 rebounds and shot better than 50 percent from the floor in that 11-point victory. Freshman Ebony Reynolds (Patrick County, Va.) had a career day with 22 points and 20 rebounds, which earned her NJCAA, Division II player of the week honors.

Reynolds — an all-Region X selection — anchors a PHCC team that has won two in a row and are playing some its best basketball, according to Henderson. Better ball control and consistent rebounding, he added, are things that have aided in the strong finish. He hopes for a repeat performance tonight.

“As some of our games have shown this season, we’ve bounced back after losing to teams the first time,” Henderson said. “The second time around we play teams extremely tough. We hope that the third time’s a charm and it’ll be on a neutral court this time.”

Reynolds has had a tremendous first year of college basketball, averaging 18.8 points and 13.7 rebounds per game. She has a double-double in 13 straight games heading into the postseason. Freshman Lexi Dabney (Danville, Va.) has kept the perimeter game together, averaging 10 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds per game. She has since teamed up with fellow freshman Olivia Simpson (Australia) to help make the offense more efficient. Freshman Ruth Omolola (New Carrollton, Md.) has picked up her game on the interior, as well, pairing up with Reynolds as one of the conference’s top rebounding duos. Omolola is averaging over 11 rebounds per game.

Guilford Tech (18-9) remains one of the top defensive teams in Region X and the loss to PHCC was only the eighth time all season it allowed 70 or more points. The Titans have allowed an average of 62.8 points per game while recording an average of 13 steals per contest.

The Titans won 5-of-6 last month, their only loss to the Patriots.

Besides getting outrebounded 57-40 to the Patriots in the last meeting, the Titans also hit just 6-of-27 3-point attempts and were held to 35 percent shooting. Anissa Linder and Kiana Davis each led Guilford Tech with 13 points apiece while Davis added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Davis also was named to the all-Region X team.

Henderson thinks the his team has all the intangibles to make a run to Saturday’s final. Several teams have pulled off upsets during Region X play this season and he feels his team is in a great position to pull off a few more shockers, including tonight. The Patriots’ head coach said he enjoys neutral court games and believes his players will thrive in the situation that is presented in southeast North Carolina.

“We have all the pieces but can we put them all together at once is the question,” Henderson said.

Filed under: Women's Basketball