MINT HILL, NC – The Lady Patriots defeated the Olympic Trojans in a hard-fought battle 53-45 in their season home opener at Independence prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Patriots played with passion, controlled the tempo of the game throughout, played solid defensively, made key rebounds, created steal opportunities, but had too many turnovers, and will need to work on cutting these miscues down.
The team is young with some good talent, the Pats have two excellent backcourt players in Sophomore Kaylee Carson and Freshman Kamryn Kitchen. They have a solid starting 5 with a productive bench who can make a positive impact on a basketball game. Seniors Kaila Ingram, Tamia Burgess, Midori Walkup, and Jenn Stancil 6’3″ should make a solid contribution. While Junior Lily Gorum is expected to step up under the boards doing the hard work of boxing out and hauling down rebounds when on the court. Others are all expected to contribute as role players as this will be a team effort this season if the Lady Patriots are going to remain in the top 10 of the Sweet 16.
In the opening period, the Patriots took a comfortable 14-6 advantage over the Trojans when Lily Todd opened with the first two points of the season, then followed in the period with two 3-pointers one each from Carson and Kitchen.
In the second period, Olympic came storming back with some good clutch shooting and a couple of 3-point shots of their own by Aniyah Scales and Jaelin Register. However, both Kitchen and Carson landed a 3-pointer to match the Trojans. Carson’s power drives to the hoop forced the visitors to foul, and she was accurate from the foul line, and later scored on a breakaway, an outlet pass from Gorum to Todd who made a nice bounce pass to Carson for the layup to take a 24-20 half-time lead.
In the third period, the teams battled matching baskets and played aggressive solid defense. The Lady Patriots continued to make a few unwise turnovers on some questionable passes across the lanes, however, Kitchen owned the period for Independence scoring 8 of her 18 points in the basketball game. The period ended with Indy ahead only by one point 34-33 with the outcome still in serious doubt.
Then in the final period, Carson took charge of this contest when she scored on a layup, then went baseline and was fouled, she swished both foul shots and went on defense. After the Trojans landed a 3-pointer, Carson scored on a jump shot, then the Trojans countered again on another 3-point shot. With the game close, Carson would steal an errant pass, dish the ball off to Kitchen, who found Burgess who netted a jumper for two points. After trading baskets, Kitchen found the range again on a 3-pointer, followed by Burgess for another jump shot, and Todd added a 10-foot jumper to make the score 49-43 with 1:01 remaining on the scoreboard clock.
With the final minute running down Scales scored on a baseline layup for the Trojans with 38 seconds remaining making the score 49-45. The Trojans missed their shot, they applied a full court press and ended up fouling Carson twice, she calmly went to the free-throw line and swished all four shots to give the Patriots a 53-45 victory.