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Patrick Henry High School
Estill

Patrick Henry girls basketball will compete in region

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Estill – If they ever get fully healthy and clicking on all cylinders, the Patrick Henry girls basketball team figures to be a contender for a region championship this season.

Coach Belinda McCoy again has a small roster, but a competitive one. The season has opened with a 2-3 record overall but a 1-1 start in region play has McCoy feeling optimistic about her team’s chances of competing for a title.

“We’re doing okay for now,” McCoy said. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises. Every now I see our potential when we get it all clicking but we’re not there in terms of consistency just yet. That will come, I hope. I think we have the talent and experience to make a run.”

Progress overall has been slowed considerably without starting point guard Ellie Mikell, a junior returning starter at the point. Mikell has been injured since before the start of the season and continue to nurse her injury back to health. McCoy is hopeful for a return by January.

“She’s getting close but needs a little more time to heal,” the coach said. “We definitely miss her right now. We’re having to move people around to fill her role. She’s a key player at point guard. She has experience and we count on her leadership out there.”

Junior Megan Bridgers, a returning two guard, is filling in as the point guard for now, along with freshman Abby Wiggins. Eighth-grader Logan Cone also is gaining valuable experience in the backcourt, which will help in terms of depth once Mikell returns.

Manning the paint area are two veteran seniors – Anna Priester and Ansley Moore. Eighth-grader Sinaya Sexton is filling in as a small forward/wing and shows great potential as well.

Patrick Henry opened region play with a win over Clarendon Hall and a close loss to defending state champion Dorchester Academy. Dorchester will again be among the teams to beat in the region.

“I’m optimistic that we will be able to compete with all of the teams in the region,” McCoy says. “We’re learning as we go and getting back to full strength is going to make us a better team. Dorchester is good again but I thought we could have won that game. We’ll see how it goes in January.”

Depth is a major concern for the boys basketball team as second-year head coach Robbie Breland has only six players on the roster this season.

“We have to play a little different than we want to because of the numbers,” Breland said. “We have to be careful on defense and stay out of foul trouble. We also have to limit the pace the game with six kids. We tend to get tired. It’s a tough situation but we will make the most of it. We have good kids. They play hard. We’re just limited as to what we can do with very little margin for error.”

The team is led by two returning starters from last year’s team – junior Kennedy Fairey and senior Hunter Spielman. Fairey is the team’s leading scorer overall but Spielman also has offensive potential, scoring 19 points in an early region loss to Dorchester Academy.

 Junior Garrett Griner was off the bench last year but has an increased role as a starter this season. Two freshmen – Karan Patel and Josh Myer – are seeing considerable action, along with eighth-grader Zach Mathis, who scored a career-high 18 points in a win over Colleton Prep.

The Patriots won two of their first five games but opened with region play with two losses. Breland is optimistic that his team can win some region games in January.

“We have some talent but it’s young and we don’t have depth,” the coach said. “If we can keep the right five on the floor, we can play with anyone in our region. If we five on five for 10 minutes, we could beat most teams. It’s those last 10 minutes or foul trouble that gets us.”

 

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