The girls were ready. After weeks of preseason training and scrimmages, the girls’ JV basketball team was finally prepared to ride into battle like real Patriots. They grabbed control of the reins, and charged head-on into the season. Firing shots left and right, the team was stampeding their competition.
And then they were shot off the horse.
After starting the season 3-0, the Patriots find themselves lost and still searching for an answer, as they have fallen to 3-2 (as of Dec. 18). The first two games of the season were won convincingly each time, scoring over 45 points while holding opponents under 35. From there the tables turned, and while they salvaged a close win against Clarksburg, they started to lose. Badly. They did not score more than 25 points in their past three games. “We need to work on not rushing. We can’t be freaking out when we get the ball in our hands,” sophomore center Jenna Oringher said.
There’s still plenty of time to put their season back on track, but in the meantime, they have lost their touch. Their 45-20 loss against Quince Orchard on Dec. 16 was their worst of the season. The team was simply outmatched. The Cougars have pummeled teams this season, most notably Einstein where they embarrassed the Titans 47-2. The Patriots put up a fight, but the rolling Cougars proved too much to overcome.
The Patriots’ first loss of the season came against Poolesville on Dec. 14. The 45-24 scoreline was an ugly way to enter the loss column, but the Falcons- like the Cougars- have been dominant this season. While it’s tough to defeat stronger opponents early in the season, the Patriots will soon run out of excuses and will need to bring more to the table if they want to find any more success this season.
Grinding out tough wins isn’t impossible for this group. They already came out on top in a 21-20 thriller against Clarksburg on Dec. 12. While not the best team in the county, the Coyotes have been adding up wins and are proving that the Patriots might want to put that game on the top of their resume.
The girls shined brightest in their first two games with wins against Northwest on Dec. 6 (50-33) and Kennedy on Dec. 9 (47-26). Neither of those opponents have found success this season, but a win is a win, and each one counts. Beating the teams they are “supposed” to beat is a good sign that the only problem they have is against the stronger teams, and that can be fixed during the season through more training and hard work. “We’ve been working more as a team, which wasn’t the case at the beginning of the season,” Oringher said.
The girls may be losing battles, but the war isn’t over. They looked to get back on the horse in their games against Paint Branch on Dec. 19 and Churchill on Dec. 21, both played too late to be covered in this issue.
JV Sports Editor