East County Sports

Patriots take Raiders to school



By Dave Dickens



BONITA (12-29-2021) — After a hard-fought win over Southwest (El Centro), the energy transferred to the second in a row, as the Christian High Lady Patriots buried the Southwest (San Diego) Lady Raiders.


It was the Tiffany Bickford and Koko Akridge show for the majority of the evening.


Some of the best offense and defense played on the season as a whole.


The Lady Patriots defense held strong, allowing only ten points in the first half defensively. How about putting up forty points offensively?


Christian must have had a short conversation as they came out in the second half and executed exactly the same as they did in the first half, holding the Raiders to nine in the third quarter and an anemic 5 points in the fourth quarter. It was the same old story offensively, at least on this day as the Lady Patriots put up a combined 27 points in the second half. 


An absolute one-sided shellacking on behalf of the Lady Patriots. 


Akridge had six field goals, three three-pointers, 4-of-4 free throws, four assists, two steals, and a phenomenal 25 points total.


Bickford had three field goals, two three-pointers, 2-of-2 free throws, eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and 14 total points.


Naomi Henderson had two field goals, two rebounds, one assist, and a steal. The other youngster that impressed on the evening was Tess Warren, who had a field goal, was 1-for-1 from the line, and added a rebound.


“Tess made her first buckets in an official game and it was one in which our bench erupted,” Christian head coach Vickie Carrington said. “Naomi Henderson played awesome from a standpoint of her IQ, foot speed, and overall game. We have some great freshmen here and now it is great to get their perspective as they learn and grow in the game.


“This was a breakout game for the younger players especially because they were able to see that they can play for a large number of minutes and be effective the whole time. The freshman are definitely going to be top-tier players as they hit their junior and senior years. It was fun for Koko and myself to lead them through this game, and then watch them come out of their shells a bit more in terms of playing in the game,” said Tiffany Bickford, of the Patriots.


“It’s such a great experience to mentor such an amazing group of young ladies, it is awesome to see them improve every day in practice and grow confidence in games. It brings a lot of excitement and energy to the game to see them score and just grow as a player,” said Akridge.


“It was a great feeling to be called by Coach Vickie to show my skills and help contribute to the team the best I could. I am still learning at this high level of basketball, but I am truly growing during these games. I am very blessed to be in this position by my coaches having faith in me and being so amazing. They always believe in me and I know I can always count on them. My teammates are the best, they allow me to do my very best and make the game look really easy. They are an incredible group of ladies, they have become my family,” Christian’s Henderson.


“It was amazing. I think sometimes as a younger player you feel like you don’t give as much to the team. And I think to myself, I really dislike disappointing people, so I was a bit nervous coming into the game, I didn’t want to be the one to cause any miscues. However, when I made the layup and saw all of my teammates there it made me realize how valued I was, and even though so far it appears that I don’t possess the same skills as the rest of the team, though they still see me as a valuable player,” said Warren.


It has been an up and down season for these talented young ladies, thus far. 


The Lady Patriots sit at a 4-9 record overall and have yet to play a league contest.


The Lady Patriots resume play, after four days of much-needed rest.


The Christian Lady Patriots will open up league play on Tuesday, Jan. 4 versus Cathedral Catholic at 5 p.m. The Lady Dons are currently 8-2, a tough one to start league play, but a winnable game.


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