Women push past Guilford Tech 71-60

February 19, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Few times this season have the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) women’s basketball team entered the fourth quarter with a lead.

That situation presented itself Thursday (Feb. 18) against Guilford Tech Community College and the Lady Patriots handled the final 10 minutes like a championship-caliber team. A 27-point fourth quarter lifted PHCC to 71-60 Region X victory over the Titans. It was first win since Jan. 12 that the Lady Pats scored more than 70 points in a win, the last time coming in a 72-point effort against Catawba Valley.

The victory also moved the Patriots up to sixth in the conference standings which would allow them to avoid either of the top two seeds until the semifinals.

Ebony Reynolds (Patrick County, Va.) had a career night by recording her first ever 20-20 game with game highs of 22 points and 20 rebounds. She scored 12 of her points in the fourth quarter, helping put away Guilford Tech with her 16 defensive rebounds. The freshman forward was one of three Patriot scorers in double figures as fellow freshman Lexi Dabney (Danville, Va.) and Olivia Simpson (Australia) chipped in with 14 and 13, respectively.

Sophomores Elena Suebsman (Germany) and Kim Martin (Bassett, Va.) were active in a variety of ways. Suebsman had nine points and 10 rebounds while Martin added five points and six boards. Freshman Ruth Omolola (New Carrollton, Md.) hauled down nine rebounds, as well, to go with six points.

“Everyone was attacking off the dribble every chance they could get and we weren’t settling for jump shots,” Reynolds said of the team’s offensive strategy. “People that weren’t used to scoring had to step up and get points and that’s what they did.”

The Lady Pats (6-14, 3-8) used an 18-11 second quarter to take a 29-25 halftime lead. If it weren’t for a 6-for-16 effort at the free-throw line, PHCC would have led by more than just two possessions. The momentum swing, however, stayed with the home team for the better part of the third until the Titans went on their best run of the game.

Reynolds’ only points of the third quarter pushed the Patriots lead to nine — the biggest to that point — with under seven minutes left in the quarter. A 12-2 run fueled by Guilford Tech freshman Brandi Robinson tied the game at 38 and 40 before sophomore Anissa Linder hit 1 of 2 free throws to give the Titans their first lead since early in the second quarter. Dabney and Martin hit consecutive baskets to close out the quarter and a 44-41 PHCC lead entering the fourth.

“Sometimes you just have to let the girls grow and let them figure it out. This has happened to us in previous games where we gave up the lead and didn’t fight back,” Patriots coach Brian Henderson said. “We learned from those other games and today we finished.”

PHCC pushed the lead to eight with five minutes to play in regulation, yet had it shrink to two with 4:25 left. The Lady Pats then closed the game on a 13-4 run.

“This game showed the ladies that anything can happen on any given night,” Henderson said. “They came out and were prepared to play from the beginning of the game through the end.”

Despite being tested, Henderson said he was pleased with the continued growth of his players, suiting up just seven. Reynolds added that the team has nothing to lose at this point and Thursday’s win showcased a more relaxed and confident team over the course of two halves.

PHCC took its first lead of the game at 16-14 on Reynolds’ first field goal of the second quarter. The lead exchanged hands a few times before Reynolds had a chance to convert a five-point play with a pair of technical free throws and continuation free throw following a bucket and foul. She missed the technical free throws but converted the other freebie for a 26-24 lead.

The Patriots’ 11 points allowed in the second were the fewest allowed in a single quarter since Nov. 23 when they gave up 10 in a 29-point win at Wake Tech.

“We got in the mindset of defense first and let the offense come. We pressed in our 22 (defense) and saw it was working forcing them to settle for 3s,” Reynolds said. “I think it was figuring out what their weaknesses were and adjusting our defense to it.”

PHCC totaled 57 rebounds, limiting Guilford Tech to one shot on most of its possessions.

The women travel to Lenoir Community College on Monday, Feb. 22, and will conclude the regular season on sophomore night Wednesday, Feb. 24 against Wake Tech.



Filed under: Women's Basketball