Patriots look to finish strong on Sophomore Night

February 24, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — The Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball team is building the right kind of momentum in the closing weeks of the regular season.

The Patriots look to cap a season-ending, four-game homestand on a high note at 7 p.m. tonight (Feb. 24) against Region X rival Catawba Valley Community College. PHCC has won its first three games of the homestand and can sneak ahead of the Red Hawks for seeding purposes in the Region X/District VI tournament hosted by Richard Bland College and Sandhills Community College.

PHCC (20-5, 13-4) has started to shift its focus to defense down the stretch, allowing 63 points per game and keeping teams under 35 percent shooting over its three-game win streak. With a 7-1 record at home during conference play, the Patriots also look to send their sophomores off Wingett Court with positive memories.

Catawba Valley was able to fend off Patrick Henry in the first meeting Feb. 10 in Hickory, N.C., nearly letting a 13-point halftime lead go in a 66-64 victory. The 20 first-half points by the Patriots were the fewest scored this season. Despite a 44-point second half, the men were unable to win the game at the end, missing a potential winning 3-pointer with a second remaining.

Free-throw shooting plagued the Patriots in the first meeting, going 17-for-29 at the charity stripe. Coupled with a 1-for-11 effort from 3-point range, PHCC still managed to break 60 points. The Patriots are averaging under 30 percent from 3 and under 65 percent at the line.

Freshman Keyshawn Johnson (South Boston, Va.) started his latest string of quality starts at the point guard position in the meeting with the Red Hawks two weeks ago. He scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with six steals and three assists. Johnson has averaged over 12 points, 6 assists and 3 steals per game over his last five games.

The Patriots are averaging 36 rebounds and 9 steals per game, and their ability to contain the interior against CVCC could be the difference in closing out the season with four straight wins, coach Kenny Wade said. The Patriots forced 22 turnovers in the last meeting but couldn’t fully convert off their 13 steals.

With an average of nearly 15 assists per game on offense, the distribution has led to a 45 percent shooting average from the field. However, the team only had three assists on 23 field goals while 11 different players scored two weeks ago.

The Red Hawks are 8-3 on the road this season and are the hottest team in Region X, riding a six-game win streak into Stone Hall. They had three scorers in double figures in the first meeting, led by JaQueaz Jackson’s 14 points. CVCC wasn’t impressive at the line going 10-for-22 but did hold a 49-29 advantage in rebounding — 20 offensive to earn the win.

The game was originally scheduled as a Sophomore Night doubleheader with the PHCC women taking on Wake Tech Community College to start the night. That game has been cancelled.

Sophomore Night is also in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge. There will be a 50/50 raffle with part of the proceeds going toward the organization. Other promotions and games will happen throughout the evening, as well.


Filed under: Men's Basketball