‘Everybody contributes’ at FBCS

Published 12:32 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Head coach Kristy Patton coaches the First Baptist Christian varsity girls' basketball team during a preseason practice on Tuesday afternoon at the First Baptist Christian School gym. The Lady Crusaders begin their season next Tuesday at home against Victory Christian School.

First Baptist Christian’s varsity girls’ basketball team has a potential contributor in every roster spot, and the team aims to live up to those possibilities in the upcoming season.

Kristy Patton enters her second year as varsity coach focused on developing every member of the team.

“Here, a lot of times, we’ll get a couple of good athletes and then some kids that just want to play — or several athletes, but some kids with solid experience, and then some other kids that have never played before,” she said.

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In the past, the situation has led to an over-reliance on the experienced players to do almost everything and an under-utilization of the rest of the roster.

“This year, we have the tools to be a team where everybody contributes, not just one or two players,” Patton said.

They have a very short time period to prepare for the season. Tryouts took place last Tuesday, the team’s first practice was last Thursday, and its first game is next Tuesday. Last week, Patton and the team went over goals for the year.

“Everybody said, ‘Yeah, we want to win, we want to have fun, we want to play as a unified team,’ so those are our team’s goals this season,” Patton said.

Out of the nine girls on the roster, only two are seniors.

“They’re a young team, so we want their confidence to increase,” Patton said.

That should be easier this, year since so many involved are returnees, including Patton herself.

“The advantage this year is we have a lot of returners that know what to expect of me, and I know where we’re beginning,” Patton said. “Last year, we were all kind of new. Lots of young players didn’t know where to start.”

Senior Janna Williams and junior Hannah Fagan are returning and will be playing vital roles.

“Both of them will play point guard and shooting guard,” Patton said. “They alternate, depending on what we’re up against. A lot of times, we have a small team, don’t have a lot of substitutes, especially at (the) point guard position. So, if we’re playing a team that’s pressing, pressing, pressing, one of them will get worn out, so they’ll switch.”

The team also features new players like freshman Zoe Howell, who has prior basketball experience, and senior Brianna Longo, who has none.

“Sometimes a new player will come in, and it’s very obvious that they’re new,” Patton said. “We don’t really have that. We’ve got new players that look like they’ve played before, even if they haven’t.”

Patton expects the team’s biggest challenge this year to be endurance against fast opponents.

“Summit is just unbelievably quick,” she said. “We just don’t have a lot of quickness. We have gotten better over the years with that, but when you play a team that’s got a bunch of little, quick kids running all around you, you do what you can, but if they’re quicker than you, they’re quicker than you.”

First Baptist Christian plays its first game of the season at home next Tuesday against Victory Christian School from Elizabeth City, N.C.