P&HCC opens season with victory

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The Patrick and Henry Community College women’s basketball team opened its season with a 91-75 win over Virginia State University’s junior varsity team last week.

Patriots coach Herb Daniel said he only had about 50 percent of his team’s roster for the game, but “We have an outstanding team and I think it will be a lot of fun to watch,” Daniel said in an email. The next step is to get everyone healthy, he added.

The Lady Pats prepared for the season by playing at NCAA Virginia Union 4-year schools, Randolph College, Lynchburg University and Bluefield University.

“My intention was to put our players in position to receive offers to play at larger institutions upon graduation from Patrick & Henry, as well as prepare for the season,” said Daniel.

Bluefield made offers to four P&HCC players, including Savannah Staples, who is committed to the Rams next season.

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Daniel said his team seemed a little nervous playing on the big stage at Virginia State University. The Patriots fell 9-0 in the first few minutes before Daniel called a timeout to rally his team. They responded with a basket by sophomore Nathalia Nascimento, who finished with 29 points.

After a couple more possessions, the Lady Pats were within arm’s reach. As the game receded, the Lady Pats found themselves down just one at the end of the first quarter.

Also making an appearance on the court was freshman Kamirah James, who had 13 points, two steals and 11 pass deflections that assisted in a 17-steal team effort.

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The second and third quarters are when the Lady Pats took over, outscoring the Trojans 29-18 in the third and 26-19 in the fourth. Freshman Quanadra Tunstall (Chatham High School) accounted for 10 of her 23 points in those quarters.

“Tunstall has been a great asset,” said Daniel. “She was a late acquisition. He was aware of his success in high school and diligently recruited her, however, he briefly chose to attend another school but ultimately decided to come to Patrick & Henry. She gives us another presence in our later game.”

Harriet Hayford finished with a team-high six rebounds in just 13 minutes of play. Sophomore Perisa Singletary finished with 10 points after having to sit out for a long portion of the game due to an ankle injury.

“She is a captain with Nascimento who gives us great leadership on and off the pitch,” Daniel said of Singletary.

Staples finished with 7 points.

“Another bright spot on our list,” Daniel said of the Bluefield engagement. “Savanah is an excellent shooter who brings depth to our offense, which allows us to spread the floor.”

Freshman Jaeda Manns had seven points, five rebounds, five assists and six steals.

“What a way to fill out a stat sheet,” Daniel said of Manns, a Bassett High School graduate. “I think she may have the most potential of all right now.”

Sophomore Eva Brill added two points but was hampered by an ankle injury and had limited playing time.

The Lady Pats had to tie them down again the following night to take on Richard Bland College, an NJCAA DII competitor.

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In the game, the Lady Pats started 9-2 and finished the first quarter tied 18-18.

The second quarter was just as competitive, with the game tied until the very last seconds. Richard Bland hit a 3-pointer to give them a 26-23 lead at the half.

Richard Bland finished with 14 triples.

“The 3-pointer was our Achilles heel for this game,” Daniel said. “I think having played the night before and already shorthanded, he started to affect us.”

The Lady Pats continued to put up strong performances for Nascimento, who finished with a team-high 20 points. Five Patriots in total finished with double-digit scores. James and Tunstall finished with 13, Singletary finished with 12 and Hayford with 10.

Richard Bland ran away with a 102-84 victory.

The Lady Pats (1-1) will next travel to Southwest Community College on Nov. 22.