MINT HILL, NC – The Independence High School basketball team is young and looks like they have a core of 3 young players with plenty of potential and some seniors who will make key contributions keeping the Patriots competitive this season.
After last season’s state title run for the state championship and their disappointing loss in overtime to Chambers 63-61, the program is in a rebuilding mode. “It’s a challenge to lose 4 key seniors who all graduated and moved on to compete at the next level in college basketball,” said Coach Lauren Galvani.
“She further commented by saying, however, we have three young talented players who will be able to compete very well at this level, they include freshman guard Kamryn Kitchen, sophomore guard Kaylee Carson, and sophomore power forward Chloe Moss. Our seniors who have game experience from last season are expected to step up and make a significant contribution. We are in a rebuilding season, but we will not back down to anyone, we will compete and win our share of basketball games. We expect to get better every week and make steady progress with this group of dedicated players.”
This writer must agree, based on what we observed at the Providence Day Super Scrimmage on Saturday. The Patriots played 3 games, one in the morning, in the afternoon, and another in the evening against good competition. They matched up against Providence Day, Concord Academy, and Freedom High School.
The first two games were highly competitive and were vey close with only a few points separating the teams. In the final contest, the Lady Patriots after taking a 15-10 lead against Freedom, went on a 17-0 run to break open the game. They put this game in the win column in convincing fashion with a 37-16 victory.
The scrimmages were played with two 16 minutes running half’s and stoppages in the final two minutes of competition for players to go to the foul line. The clock was stopped during timeouts and there was a 3-minute intermission.
The team played extremely well, they appeared to jell, passed the ball with confidence, did not have as many turnovers as expected, showed good ball handling skills, they can score from the 3-point range, are willing to drive the lane, played solid defense, and will be able to hold their own under the boards.
This is a different Lady Patriot team than last year’s best team ever at Independence who had their state title run. The ladies appear to be ready to compete, they play with passion, and have some good talent that will keep them competitive against tough competition in the Southwestern 4A Conference.
The leading scorers in the three games are Kamryn Kitchen with 34 points tallied, Kaylee Carson scored 23, Chloe Moss 18, and Kaila Ingram 11. Other key contributors who all made a significant contribution to a team effort include junior Lily Gorum, junior Olivia Clark, junior Lola Cabaniss-Ali, junior Lily Todd, and sophomore Makinley Sellars. The key seniors who will need to make an impact in their final season include Midori Walkup, Tamia Burgess, and Jenn Stancil.
Independence will play their home season opener against Olympic on Tuesday, November 23 at home in a non-conference matchup.