PILOT MOUNTAIN — Todd Hill is quick to say that a 2-7 start to the 2015-16 season is not at all what he had in mind for his Surry Homeschool Lady Patriots, who are just a few months removed from taking a state championship.
He’s just as quick to say that teams had better get Surry while they can, though.
“Obviously, 2-7 is not where we want to be,” said Hill. “But we’re working hard and improving, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t get to where we want to be. The more sweat we put on the floor, the better we’re going to be.”
The team’s most recent home game, last week against Calvary Christian, provided evidence of that. The Lady Patriots pulled away late to take a 42-18 victory.
“We’re beginning to read the floor like we need to,” Hill said. “(Calvary) got behind late, and they started to press us. We broke the press very well and were able to blow the game open.
“I was very pleased with how we handled the press and with how we played defense.”
Jill Boyd and Lydia Clayton tied as the game’s high scorer with a dozen points each. Krissa Hill added nine, Jenny Brown five, with Trinity Thompson and Alexus Timmons each netting two. Thompson was the leading rebounder with 11, followed by Clayton and Hill with eight each. Hill had five assists and nine steals, and Boyd also dished out five assists.
The week’s second game didn’t go as well. Surry visited Salem Baptist, but the team’s youth and lack of depth were on display in a closer-than-it-looked 50-32 loss. Salem plays with a very physical style, and eventually was able to pull away in the second half of a foul-fest.
“There were 39 fouls called in that game,” coach Hill said. “It was the most physical game we’ve played. We’re learning to play with a lot of contact.”
The game was tight throughout the first half, with the hosts leading 19-16 at the break. Salem was able to take control in the second half against the Lady Patriots, who have just seven players and no juniors or seniors on their roster.
“They made a couple of plays against us in the second half and got a bit of a lead,” the coach said. “We also let them get to the rim too much.”
Hill had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead Surry, while Clayton had four points to go with her team-high 14 rebounds. Boyd added nine points, Brown three, and Thompson two.
Coach Hill said that offensive consistency is the last piece that the team needs to find in order to be a consistent winner.
“They’re young,” he said. “As they get experience, they will be more consistent. We have a lot of players who can score, and we have different people who are stepping up in every game. The only thing we’re missing is consistency. We’ll get there.”
The Lady Patriots will continue their season after the Thanksgiving break with games at Sheets Memorial on Tuesday and at Miller’s Creek on Dec. 4.
Reach John on Twitter at @johncate73.