East County Sports

Patriots can point to future despite loss

Christian High freshman Hailey Whitman. / Dave Dickens




EastCountySports.com staff report


SAN DIEGO – Christian High girls varsity basketball coach Vickie Carrington was quick to point out following the team’s fifth consecutive loss to start the season on Friday night, that in her first year with the Patriots, her squad suffered a similar losing streak and still went on to do pretty well that season.

If a San Diego CIF Division III championship is doing well, such as the team achieved in the 2017-18 season, then there will be better times ahead.

For now, the Patriots will take a couple of weeks to take a deep breath and compose themselves following a 70-57 loss to Westview on Saturday, the team’s sixth-straight defeat to start the season.

Christian High is taking the hard road to success but is hopeful that even harder work against strong opponents will be the best route to take, especially as a Division I program.

The Patriots were in the game through much of the first half against the Wolverines, trailing just 11-10 after the first quarter, then still down a manageable 34-27 at halftime.

However, CHS trailed by 13 entering the fourth quarter, and by the time Pats tried to get back into it, Westview had an answer. The teams combined for 40 points in the fourth.

Jada Flores came into the game and knocked down a pair of three-pointers for the Patriots in the fourth quarter.

“Throughout the game, I try to keep the energy up whether I’m on the court or the bench,” Flores said. “I think it’s important for us to continue encouraging each other whether we’re winning or losing. Coming off the bench, I wanted to make my presence known and be loud in hopes of bringing more energy onto the floor. Offensively, I knew my role was to shoot the ball when I had a good look. Even though it was late in the game, I still wanted to play without considering how much we’re down by. I also wanted to contribute to the team on the defensive end and play aggressively. As a team, we’re improving every game. As the season goes on, we’ll get more comfortable with each other on the court and our teamwork will just get that much better.”

Naomi Henderson made a three-pointer for Christian High in the second quarter.

“I feel I bring a bit of energy to a talented team,” Henderson said. “I try making the most of my time on the court each and every game. No matter if we are winning or losing, I bring aggressiveness to the team. I try knocking down my shots when I get out on the floor. My defense is the main goal. I am trying to improve by moving my feet quicker and making my teammates better each game and practice.”

Amyaha Walker got the coach’s plaudits for her defensive work.

“Amyaha is a defensive stopper,” Carrington said. “Yesterday, she locked up (Simran) Randhawa from Del Norte. Today, she gave valuable minutes.

“All three girls are good three-point shooters, and we look for them to bring something to the floor when called upon. They are definitely some great pieces to the Lady Pats program.”

In Friday’s loss to the Nighthawks, Randhawa entered the game averaging 18 points and only scored three against Walker and the Patriots’ defense.

“I feel like my main assignment is using defensive ability and my speed to lock down anybody coming my way,” Walker said. “On-ball defending is one of my specialties. Last night, Randhawa was moving great without the ball she was also getting screens from her teammates but I was always right behind her. I mean it wasn’t my first time literally shutting down a good player but I know there is more to come and I will always be ready. I help out my team a lot. I come off the bench and literally play like the entire game, knocking down shots and setting my teammates up for success.

“When I hear my name getting called, I just immediately know my assignment and I’m just always ready to play. Coach Vickie always tells me that I’m good and she sees potential in me, which some coaches don’t tell their players but my coach is something special and I love her so much. Our goal is to always get better one percent each game and each practice and every time, we succeed in that.”

Koko Akridge led Christian with 15 points.

Joponica Melvin, a senior, added 11 points and nine rebounds for CHS.

Tiffany Bickford and Hailey Whitman both finished with eight points for the Pats. Whitman added seven boards, while Bickford dished out seven assists.


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