East County Sports

Patriots defeat Valhalla by a few



By Dave Dickens



EL CAJON (1-25-2022) — Defeating the Canyon Hills Rattlers was desperately needed for playoffs. It has come down to crunch time, the Christian High Lady Patriots definitely need to handle their business and win the remainder of the schedule. In reality all eight remaining games will be tough, but these ladies have bought in and are ready for the last long haul.


Don’t sleep on Christian.


“I am very proud of the team effort tonight. Each game we are all getting better. J.P. (Melvin) came out of nowhere in baller mode. These types of games, like J.P. at the boards, show you how talented these young ladies are. Any day, anyone, or maybe two will shine. We are learning how to put things together and work as a team. We are so blessed that we still have some time to continue to grow together. In this game we were able to mix it up, however, going against Victory (Christian) this week, we have to be disciplined and smart, but prayerfully. It definitely feels good to have a few wins. Valhalla played hard, and they never quit. They have a lot of players with a lot of potential. They have a good coaching staff, and no doubt will continue to get better,” Christian High head coach Vickie Carrington said.


As Valhalla played their hearts out, the host Lady Patriots came out on fire, playing serious defense, and Melvin was putting on a clinic of how well she really can play this game.


Melvin was 7-of-9 from the field, 3-of-4 free throws, a phenomenal 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.


Koko Akridge wasn’t too far off from Melvin.


Akridge had 5-of-12 field goals, two three-pointers, 4-of-5 free throws, three rebounds, five assists, and an amazing nine steals.


Melvin led the Lady Patriots with 17 total points, and Akridge put up 16 total points.


Christian led 20-1 after the first quarter of play, and then in the second quarter also shut down the Lady Norsemen, to only four points in the second quarter, and by the second quarter were only utilizing a few trap plays, and the press was now turned into a zone after the first quarter.


Christian had a strong lead at the half, 36-5.


As most tactful coaches like Christian High head coach Vickie Carrington, she decided in the second half to play bench players, which is great for resting the starters, however, is a great test of depth, and since this is a mostly younger squad, Valhalla had their best quarter in the game as they came back from the half with some fire.


The visitors played the Patriots fair close in the third, 16-12, and the Lady Patriots won the third quarter by four, and finishing the fourth 14-4, and a big win. As Christian finished in a big fashion, 66-21.


“My biggest takeaway from this game is confidence in my speed as I was able to use it on fast breaks, and got some layups. I still need to work on my shot and being more aggressive on both ends of the court. Overall, I think we have been playing much better together and we are building our team chemistry more each game,” said Alyssa Speers, of the Patriots.


“My main goal for the games is to take over in one area if I have gone cold scoring and I can block shots, like last night, that is what I try to do,” said Hailey Whitman, of the Patriots.


 “I think that was a game for us to learn how to be disciplined because it is easy to sink down and play down to teams levels that are below you. I think Valhalla tried hard but we came together really well and had great chemistry and everyone was hitting their shots for the most part. It was a fun game but it did help us practice for (our next game). We were just practicing our plays and seeing if we could run them well and keep it going. Overall it was a great game for everyone,” said Tiffany Bickford, of the Patriots.


“We were able to get a good lead about halfway through the first quarter. So we took off the press and decided to play disciple defense in a zone and work on our other defensive plays,” said Koko Akridge, of the Patriots.


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