MINT HILL, NC – The Independence Patriots basketball team began their season with a convincing 72-47 win over a non-conference opponent at “The Big I.” It was also head coach Preston Davis career win number 200 which made the victory even more sweet for the players and coaches.
In the first period the teams started out testing one another on the hardwood. The pace was fast and at times had the appearance of being out of control. However, after the first few minutes the players settled down and began to play some competitive basketball. Indy with some good scoring under the boards by 6’7″ power forward Tosh Alberga scored 5 points inside the paint, however, he missed some fouls shots shooting just 1-5. But 3 pointers were made by Yancy Thomason, Kameron Jasper, and Zion Bosley-Slade. While Xavier Perry and Davion Featherston drilled a couple of 3’s for the Comets. The period ended with Indy leading 18-8.
The second period, The Comets had their run, they put up 15 points in the period mostly on shots from the 3-point range to get the game even. However, with 2:44 remaining Indy had an 11-0 run of their own before the Comets would make a foul shot with intermission just seconds away. Leading the charge for the Patriots was Bosley-Slade, Alberga, Kaleb Jasper, and Chandler Little who swished a nice 3 pointer from the post. Alberga made a power move down the baseline driving to the hoop aggressively for a layup to swing back the momentum Indy’s way. While Landon Griffin scored 5 points for the Comets. At halftime Indy maintained their 10 point edge leading 33-23.
Indy started to open up their lead over the Comets in the third period. They outscored the visitors 18-8 for the second time in the contest. This extended the Patriots advantage to 20 points with a 51-31 advantage. Most of the damage was done by Little, Nick Barnes, Ayden Davis, Thomason and Kameron Jasper all scored for the home team.
In the final period, the Patriots seemed to wear down their opponent scoring 21 points compared with 16 by the Comets extending their lead to 25 points. They cruised to the victory and finished the game strong. Bosley-Slade scored 12 points, Alberga 10, Thomason 10, Little 10, Kameron Jasper 8, Kaleb Jasper 8, Nick Barnes 7, Ayden Davis 4, Kolbe Johnson 2, Williams 1.
This years Patriots are a young fast hustling team. They lack size with only one legitimate big man in junior Tosh Alberga. However, they appear to have a strong desire to compete, they are well coached and in good condition. They will play from the opening tipoff to the final second of each game. They dive for a loose ball and mix it up under the boards boxing out affectively against bigger opponents.
It’s going to be an interesting season, and possibly the most challenging coaching experience for Davis and his staff in a long time as their 4A conference is deep with strong teams at Butler, Charlotte Catholic, East Mecklenburg, Providence, and Rocky River. The Patriots to be successful are going to have to play sound fundamental basketball. They must limit turnovers, play solid team defense, shoot well from the floor, be above average from the free throw line, score from the 3-point range, and get the ball inside the paint to Tosh Alberga down low where he can do some damage.