East County Sports

Patriots suffer worst defeat in years




By Dave Dickens



LA JOLLA (12-1-2021) – Although at the time this story was written, it was not any time recently that the Lady Patriots had suffered such a huge defeat. Especially since Vickie Carrington has come aboard as the head coach of the Christian High Lady Patriots


In the winter of 2017, the young lady Patriots were all hyped up, had fantastic practices up to the point of game day.


As always, Coach Carrington and all of her teams, including the former Horizon teams, never would she or any of her players use any excuses, for a loss, poor performance on the court, bad officiating, absolutely no excuses ever, a true professional of her craft.


Although the team the lady Patriots were supposed to face, the Highlands Ranch Falcons, located in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, apparently, there was a schedule change at the La Jolla Country Day Tournament, that the lady Patriots had arrived at 2:30 p.m, for an originally scheduled game at 4:30 p.m.


Game time was changed to 8 p.m. due to Highlands Ranch having flight issues, which in turn, led to a long delay, thus the 8 p.m. start time.


“I haven’t seen a defeat like this in this program to my recollection, and it stings,” Carrington said. “However, I don’t think our mindset was great in this game, and unfortunately, frustrations set in way too early in the game that we didn’t combat well.”


The Patriots lost 53-12, making just six of 49 field-goal attempts, and were outrebounded 43-15.


“Highlands Ranch had a 6-foot-3 post who was dominant, one solid three-point shooter, and they were pretty quick. I’d like to believe minus the 6-foot-3 big, we were equally matched, and should have been able to compete. Not being able to grab rebounds and missing buckets killed us,” said the coach.


“Tiffany Bickford, Joponica Melvin, Koko Akridge, Alyssa Speers, Hailey Whitman, all played hard. We ran plays, we looked better, it was our offensive game that stumped us, and we never got our rhythm and continuity. When we miss that many buckets we become ‘self-defeated’ and it’s almost inevitable. I will say this , our girls scoring only 12 points collectively is a problem and us only having 15 rebounds is a problem, and that is on us,” Carrington added.


“My Lady Patriots are competitors, and I know they are not happy about this kind of a loss and will bounce back,” she said. “I do want to say that although the score doesn’t reflect it , we played good defense in spurts. Amyaha Walker had some key defensive stops in this game and played with more confidence. Mindset is everything, and it starts the moment you walk into the gym.


“We have to learn how to not allow the little things to affect us. When we can rise above small things, we will conquer bigger things. I know the girls are disappointed, as is our staff. We have to move on and get ready for the next game which will be a battle. The opponent is a quick and athletic team, with good shooters, and a dominant player. I feel we match up. We just have to be together, focused, and have the right mindset. “ said Coach Carrington.


The first quarter of play was won by the Falcons, but by a few points, 13-6. 


In the second quarter, that is when the wheels really appeared to fall off, with the Falcons commanding a 12-1 win in the second quarter, and a 25-7 halftime lead over the young Lady Patriots.


The Lady Patriots, missing many buckets, led to only scoring 1 point in the third quarter, and a lowly four points in the fourth quarter.


Highlands Ranch scored 12 in the third and 16 in the fourth, ending in a tremendous loss, 53-12 to the Falcons.


“I had a really bad game and not so great as a team. I didn’t really do my part as a leader, no excuses. I could have got more boards and hyped up my team, instead of holding our heads down. We pressed for a little bit but mostly man to man half court.  I just need to get out of my own head and worry about doing my part and not what someone else is doing wrong, and that is how I am going to grab more rebounds and score more,” said Melvin.


“It was a tough game and definitely not how we wanted to start the season. My thoughts on the loss are to do a better job with player personnel and identify our shooters sooner. As for frustration, I think we just need to learn how to trust each other as a team, which we are working on everyday. Overall, I think there is nowhere to go but up from here. “ said Speers.


“This is our first game and we had a long day. I will make no excuses for myself or my teammates, but in my opinion, we played hard, literally everyone tried to contribute, but not one of our buckets would drop. I know that some of the shots my teammates and I took would have fallen, but tonight, nothing. We are not a 12-point scoring team, we are embarrassed by this, but we are not defined by our wins and losses, on to the next game.” said Akridge.


“I think our team was affected by the lack of mental preparedness we had because we were expecting to play earlier in the day. Waiting around caused us to be mentally tired, which translated to our physical performance in our game. This for sure is not the best game we have played, but we are going to learn from it and grow as a team. I think being a stronger leader on this team this year will also help me succeed as a player as I encourage others to do their best; therefore I will have to push myself to do the same. “ said Whitman.


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