SA looking to be top team this year

Published 9:45 am Friday, December 18, 2009

COURTLAND—The Southampton Academy Raiders girls basketball team looks to continue their success from other years and win the Virginia Commonwealth Conference title and make it to the state tournament.

“We should be one of the top teams in the conference this year,” said Southampton Academy Raiders girls’ basketball coach Burdette Gatten, “but right now we are not hitting on all cylinders yet, but we will get stronger.”

The Lady Raiders’ goal for the year is to win the conference and then win the conference tournament, “as we have done year after year,” said Gatten.

Gatten said, “We are already down one in the conference with a loss to Blessed Sacrament Huguenot.”

Gatten said that he will rely on his two 1,000-point players a lot over the course of the season — Gabby Gatten and Lindsey Raulston. Other starters for the Lady Raiders include Forrest Best, Catherine Glover and Michelle Lewis, a transfer from Southampton High School.

SA has six totally different offenses.

“We have too many right now,” said Gatten. “We are having trouble running one into another, but we will work on that over the course of the season.”

Defensively the Lady Raiders typically like to play man defense and will press when they have all of their personnel in the game.

The Lady Raiders go into the winter break with a losing record. Coach Gatten knew that it could happen, but expects the conference title to come down to either Southampton Academy or Blessed Sacrament Huguenot.

“Two of our losses came at the hands of Division I teams up in D.C.,” said Gatten. “Both of those losses came when we played in a tournament up there.”

Gatten said that practices have been tough so far this year with all of the interruptions and other activities.

“Most of out starters played volleyball,” said Gatten, “and with the volleyball season lasting so long, we got started late, and then we had the Thanksgiving break and that breaks things up. Now we have Christmas activities in the gym, so we can’t get in the gym like we want to. “It’s just been one interruption after another.

“They are smart girls,” added Gatten. “They catch on quickly, but we just don’t have that continuity yet. But midway through January we should be really hitting it. We just don’t want to dig too deep of a hole between now and then with too many losses. I am expecting a 20-win season, if we can put it together.”