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Patriots look to bounce back at home

With six games already under the team’s belt, the Pike Liberal Arts School girls’ varsity basketball team is well on its way to trying to make it back to the Final Four for the second-straight season.

“Well, we are getting better and better,” head coach Steven Kilcrease said Wednesday afternoon. “But we still have a long way to go.”

The Patriots have coming back this season all five of its starters that helped the Patriots reach the Final Four last season.

“We are expecting big things this season,” Kilcrease said.

The girls were well on their way to fulfilling those expectations.

After jumping out to a 4-0 record to start the Patriots have cooled off a bit, dropping its last two contests by a combined six points, a one-point lose to Fort Dale and a five-point loss to Lee-Scott.

Both losses came to teams in the Patriots’ region.

Close games like the ones PLAS experienced are the type of games Kilcrease said he expects, especially from teams in the Patriots’ region, AISA AAA Region 1.

“Fort Dale, Lee-Scott, Glenwood and Macon-East are all going to have good teams this season. It’s going to be competitive.

“We are going to have to work hard. We are not going to become good overnight – it’s going to take work but I think this team is going to be in the thick of things this season,” the coach said.

Despite the two losses, the Patriots are still ranked No. 5 in this weeks AISA basketball poll.

Because the team was so successful last season, this season’s club entered the season looking to accomplish just as much and more, according to the coach.

“We have high expectations coming into this season because of last year – but having said that we have to get better this season.

“These girls are working hard though. We haven’t had much time to work on things because we have not had a lot of practices, but luckily this week the team has been able to spend a lot of time together and in practice and that should really help us out,” Kilcrease said. “We really needed this week.” The coach went on to say that the lack of time the team has had a practice has been a one of the reasons for the recent struggles. “This week has been the first real week where we have been able to get a lot of practice in and work on things we need to improve upon,” the coach added.

The Patriots will be able to show off what a week of practice is worth this Friday night as the team plays host to Lakeside.