Heating up: Patriots carry momentum into 2019

Published 9:44 pm Thursday, December 20, 2018

After ending a seven-game losing streak, the Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots head into Christmas break clinging to momentum.

After finishing in third place in the Abbeville Christian Holiday Tournament, the Lady Patriots have an overall record of 9-8.

“The momentum is up,” said head coach Tori Peters. “We have come back from a seven-game losing streak and we learned a lot about ourselves and we learned a lot about each other. We were in the gym today (Thursday). We had a really good practice and we are going to practice a lot over the break to get ready.”

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The Patriots started the season on a bit of a hot streak. They started the season 6-2 before embarking on the seven-game losing streak. Peters credits the streak to mostly fatigue.

“We played a lot of basketball,” Peters said. “I think we played 19 games in two weeks. That’s a lot of ball. It was one of those weeks when we were in the gym so much that it’s hard to balance games and practice. We are still really young; we have learned a lot about ourselves. We have learned to make those mid-game scenario changes. With a younger group, those are experiences we have never been in before.”

The Patriots over the last two weeks have gone up against more experienced and veteran lineups.

“I think we are right there on the edge, we are almost there,” Peters said. “These are the things that are going to help us grow and become better ball handlers and a better team.”

Three-point shooting has been a key for the Lady Patriots all season long. At times, they have lived by the sword and at times they have died with it. In the seven-game losing streak, the shots failed to drop as consistently. Recently, the shots have started to drop once again.

“The outside shot has been really good to us,” Peters said. “When we face some defenses that limit our shots, we relied on some of our younger girls to put some points up. We really just have to get to where we are consistent across the board and everyone in contributing. That’s really the difference in our game.

“Our shots are back falling again. I think we had a couple days off for rest and that has helped us a lot.”

The Patriots needed the rest coming off the third-place finish in Abbeville. The Patriots had to battle their way out of the loser’s bracket after falling in the opening round.

“We really needed to feel what it felt like to win again,” Peters said. “I think that is a big part of it, building their momentum and their motivation. When you play that much basketball it’s easy to get down and lose sight of things. Finishing in third place in a tournament of that size, with really good competition, I think that was a really good experience for our girls.”

Coming out of the break, the Patriots were matchup up with both Fort Dale and Northside Methodist. The key for the Patriots, according to Peters, is to keep the momentum up.

“Really keeping them in the gym while we are out at break is going to be big,” Peters said. “Work on the areas of our game that have been a struggle so far this season. If we can fix those areas I think this will be a team in years to come that will be making a difference at Pike and AISA. I am excited to see where we can grow.

The Lady Patriots will take on Fort Dale on January 8.