Lady Pats off to a flawless season
January 14, 2010
- Lady Pats off to a flawless season
Fort Meade's Lady Patriots dished out an action-packed 90 minutes of play against the Lady Generals of Fort Myer, Va., in the first home game of the season, sweeping Saturday's game at Murphy Field House 101-63.
"We just ran the ball," said Patriot point guard Ashley Bowman. "The Generals had a small amount of people, and we used it to our advantage toward the end."
With just six players on the court, Fort Myer never had a lead but wasn't far behind the Patriots for most of the first period. The teams traded the ball back and forth evenly until, with about two minutes left in the half, the Generals' tire caught up with them and they gave up a 45-27 point lead.
The Patriots wrapped up the half with 56-30 on the scoreboard.
"They are playing much better than last year," said Jeff Nelson, a spectator of the Lady Patriots whose wife played on the team during the 2008 season. "Number 23 [Bowman] is making sure they get shots in early."
This year, the team is under the direction of a new coaching staff, with a mix of veteran and new players.
"They are gelling together as a team early in the season," said Brandie DeRemer, Fort Meade sports director. "They have a winning attitude."
During the second half, the Fort Meade defense took its game to the next level. One behind the other, three players single-handedly stole the ball and scored before the Generals halted the smackdown with a time-out.
After a failed one-woman drive to the hoop that led to a miss instead of a pass to one of the three top-scorers for the Generals, Fort Myer lost more momentum. In the second half, the Lady Pats offered the Generals multiple chances to catch up with free throws, which eventually led to points for Fort Myer. The Lady Generals, however, failed to capitalize on more than half of the free-throw opportunities. With a 30-point lead halfway through the second half, the Patriots had accumulated an overindulgent 8-2 foul count.
"Fort Meade kept subbing in and out new people, keeping their legsfresh," said Ramao Montgomery, who watched from the sidelines. "The defense was outstanding -- the way they talked to each other and moved.
"The Generals didn't have a bad team either. It could have been a lot worse than it was with the amount of Generals on the court. It would have been a competitive game with more players on the Generals' side."
Generals coach Lewis Roundtree attributed the loss to a lack of available substitutions. "Our girls got tired and didn't get their defense back in the second half," he said.
The win was a matter of execution, said Patriots coach Reggie Darden.
"Defensive play is what will take us over the hump this year," he said. "We may not shoot well in every game, but we can always be consistent with the defense."
Darden encouraged spectators to pack the gym to give players the support and motivation they need to play hard.
"Desire is key," said point guard Bowman, the Patriots' high scorer. "I have a passion for the game and for playing it with my team. We motivate each other."
Bowman, who according to the Pats coach is taking the game to another level, said fans could look forward to intensity in every game and some really good basketball.
The Lady Patriots continued protecting their house Sunday against Fort Lee, Va., with a 72-57 victory, making the team 3-0 for the season.