Linden riding hot streak

Published 8:40 pm Monday, January 5, 2009

LINDEN — There was an extra bounce in the steps of Patriot players after Friday night’s 64-53 win over area rival Sunshine.

“That gives us tremendous confidence,” head coach Joe Eatmon said of the victory his team picked up on the road over the region’s perennial power.

“We overcame, though,” Eatmon said of his team’s rough start. “That’s what I’m most proud of. We went into a tough atmosphere and handled the adversity.”

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The win only sends his team to 3-5, but Eatmon likes his squad’s chances down the stretch.

“Like I said from the beginning, we still haven’t had the chance to play a whole lot of basketball,” Eatmon said of a team that did not play its first game until Dec. 9.

Despite its unsightly win-loss record, Linden has dropped only one game to 1A competition. Included in that stretch is a 2-1 record within the area that has the Patriots currently sitting in second place and poised to make a run at the regular-season area championship.

“We’ve got 11 games left and eight of them are at home,” Eatmon said. “We’re in a situation where, if we take care of home, we win this area.”

Aside from the layout of the Patriots’ remaining schedule, Eatmon is encouraged by the team’s continued improvement.

“We’re getting better at our press,” Eatmon said of a defensive scheme that enabled his team to beat Sunshine in its last outing. “We pressed them and they turned the ball over.”

The Patriots’ next task comes at home tonight when they host Francis Marion High in a rematch of the squad’s season opener.

Francis Marion prevailed in the first meeting with a 57-47 win at home.