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Patriots set for regionals

Looking to slingshot themselves into the postseason, Southwest Covenant stumbled out of the gate in the district tournament.

The Patriots had a long trip to make out west to Shattuck but it wasn’t the drive that cost them. The first day they played Sharon-Mutual and won 60-36.

“We played really well Friday night,” coach Kevin Cobbs said. “Sharon Mutual has had some good wins this year. They’ve been up and down. We knew they were getting up to beat us and we knew we needed to play really well and we did. Kirk and Will are becoming so good together, it’s hard to guard both of them.”

The next day they ran into scheduling conflicts.

The team stayed in a hotel to avoid making the hours-long trip twice, but they couldn’t figure out what to do until their 8 p.m. start time.

“Saturday was just an odd day,” Cobbs said. “We didn’t know what to do with all the time we had with checking out of the hotel and an eight o’clock game. Unlike football and volleyball, the state association does not allow teams to change game times if it’s more convenient for the teams.”

They found some things to do, but ultimately waited around.

“We went to a movie that afternoon and we sat in Arby’s. It was just a difficult day,” Cobbs said.

The Patriots lost their game that evening to host Shattuck 66-58.

Now at 1-1 in the postseason, the margin for error is slim. One more loss would end their season. Their tough task begins Thursday, again at Shattuck, against a 19-6 Ringwood.

“Ringwood is really good. They’re very well coached. They’ve got a 6-foot-5 kid in the middle and they’ve got some guards around him who can play. It’s a very good team. We’re going to have to play well every game to get through.”

Cobbs says his team knows it will be difficult, but last season’s run proves they have what it takes.

“Being on this side of where we are right now, you look back and think, what an incredible run we went on last year to win six straight and make it to state,” he said. “While we know it’s possible, we know it’s a very tough road to do it. But we know it’s possible.”

Ringwood and Southwest Covenant will play at 3 p.m. Thursday.

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