By Ethan Hoffman--Eagle Staff Writer
The FCHS Varsity Girls' Basketball team is ready to kick off their 2021-2022 season, and the girls and their coach are expecting strong results.
“We bring enthusiasm and energy every night. This group wants to win and [I] believe they can," head coach Le-Bryan Patterson predicted. "We share the ball well and we are getting better on defense each and every day.”
After reflecting on their 2-4 record from last year, Patterson is confident the 2020-21 season was just a fluke.
“We played 6 games. 3 [of those] teams played in the Region Championship and 1 team [was] a year removed from winning a state title," he reflected. "We were a young group and losing our center the entire season due to injury [had a big impact].”
Patterson believes the biggest area of improvement during the off-season is basketball intelligence and depth on the roster.
“We are able to get out into transition and run our sets and everyone understands their roles and responsibilities," he explained. "We have better depth coming off the bench that gives us the ability to do things differently defensively.
This progress came from voluntary experience outside of the girls' regular season.
“During the off-season we played against some good competition in team camps and this group decided they wanted to get better," Patterson shared. "Fall league allowed us to see how much we have grown defensively and our ladies have bought in.”
Patterson felt these additional games were necessary after the team played just 6 games last season in a partial schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the team said they weren’t heavily affected by the shortened season.
"Basketball is basketball, [no matter what] the game is still played the same," Patterson said. "When the season started everyone had to be ready to compete. The only thing COVID changed in my opinion is our preparation for the season.”
The Lady Eagles have come a long way since 2020, and now they're ready to dominate on the court.
“[We're going to] take it one game at a time with the ultimate intention of winning our district and competing for [the] regional then state title," Patterson summarized. "It may seem like a long shot to some, but I believe talking about winning a regional and state title each year is important; I feel you have to believe before you can achieve anything.”