Lady Pats gunning for big year with added depth

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The temperatures outside are dropping, but the intensity level inside the gym at Pike Liberal Arts in on the rise.

The Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots basketball team tipped off their 2013-14 season Monday night with a 68-64 win over Lakeside.

The Pats trailed by as many as 19 points in the second half, but rallied back late to seal the win.

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Pike Liberal head coach Craig Kennedy was proud of the effort he saw from his players.

“That win shows a lot of character,” Kennedy said. “We could have easily just packed it in, and went home. They really, really got after in the second half, and I was really pleased with their effort.”

Kennedy enters his second season in charge of the Lay Pats, and feels his team is more aware of the expectations of the program.

“They have been in the system for a year now, and know what we want to do,” Kennedy said. “You have to be willing to outwork your opponent in the off-season. These girls came in over the summer at 6:30 in the morning, and put in a lot of work. We worked a lot on conditioning and I think we are in decent basketball shape.”

Pike returns a core group of players from last year’s squad, and also welcomes in a handful of newcomers.

Kennedy points to the improved play of veteran Carrley Barron and newcomer Marlee Turnstill in the low post as an area the team can excel at.

“I think our bigs look really good with Carrley and Marlee,” Kennedy said. “They are both good players. Marlee is an explosive player, and Carrley was extremely efficient Monday night. We are better fundamentally, and our footwork is much better. We have worked on getting rebounds and going right back up with quick jumps.”

Pike will have a couple of days to rest before traveling up U.S. Highway 231 to Ramer on Friday.

The Patriots will meet the South Montgomery County Academy Raiders. All four Pike teams will be in action with the first game beginning at 4 p.m.