Patriots Basketball Teams Travel to Oklahoma

by Office of Marketing | Feb 05, 2016
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The sports teams of the University of Valley Forge (UVF) play an essential role in turning the mission of UVF into a reality. Student-athletes are challenged and encouraged by their coaches and teammates on and off the court to grow their God-given gifts and abilities and to persevere in their physical, mental and spiritual lives. The women’s and men’s basketball teams have displayed incredible talent and positivity even while facing difficult circumstances.

The Patriots basketball athletes started their spring semester with the Hudiburg Tip-Off Classic tournament held in Moore, Oklahoma. According to senior Patience Ekuta, “The 24-hour bus trip was honestly the longest trip of my entire life.” Still, the bus trip was not short on laughter, positive energy or opportunities for team bonding. 

The women Patriots entered their first game of the tournament on Jan. 7 with high hopes of building upon their 3-3 record against Central Christian College of the Bible. The Saints would defeat the Patriots with a score of 78-66. UVF freshman Jhanel Brown had entered the game with a record of a double-double in five consecutive games. She defended her streak, recording a score of 15 points and 12 rebounds, making this her sixth straight game with a double-double. UVF junior Mikala Brinson scored 17 points. and Taniyah Faison scored 15. 

On day two, Brown would extend her double-double to seven games, scoring 14 points and 17 rebounds, and Brinson would lead the Patriots with a score of 16 points. Still, the Patriots would lose against Arlington Baptist College, bringing the Patriots to 3-5 overall. The final score was 130-62. The final game for the UVF women’s basketball team was held on Jan. 9 as a rematch from November against Hillside Free Will Baptist College. Unfortunately, the Patriots went on to lose this game 87-44. Sophomore Bailey Mayforth and Brinson each scored 10 points. The loss would bring the women's basketball overall season record to 3-6. 

The men’s basketball team played hard all three days of the tournament, but their efforts did not produce wins. They finished the tournament with a 0-3 record. They finished their first game with a close score of 96-90 against Arlington Baptist College. Junior Jerome Staley led the Patriots with a score of 14 points and juniors Devin Williams and DeAndre Gadsden each scored 13 points. 

The Patriots played against Trinity Bible College on day two of the tournament. This time, junior Tony Hazzard led the Patriots' scoring with 11 points, and junior Devin Williams had 10. The final score was 70-57. On day three of the tournament,  the Patriots played against Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. Staley led the Patriots' scoring with 19 points, followed by freshman Willie Saffore with a point score of 9. Hillsdale took the win with a final score of 90-72, making the men's basketball season record 2-10. 

Sophomore David Whitaker reflected on the trip as a learning experience. He recalled the words Coach Jon Mack had spoken throughout the season. The message “we rise” has become the resounding theme carried by the team as a whole, as the Patriots continue to encourage one another on and off the court to rise above all obstacles in their physical and spiritual paths. ”The bond between the players has really helped on the court because it causes us to come together and have faith that we really can rise,” said Whitaker. He went on to say, “Even the bond between the players and their coaches has helped the team to grow. From the daily devotions, basic shoot arounds and sitting at the dinner table, the coaches have truly built a stable relationship and trust with all of us.”