Carroll Christian girls basketball coach Matt Reisberg compared his team to that of an iceberg — as the base of an iceberg grows and gets stronger, the more it shows above the water’s surface.
The girls had a rocky start this winter and went 3-4 through the first few weeks of play before rallying off six straight games, four of which were against Maryland Association of Christian Schools Athletic Conference opponents.
They are 11-6 with three games left in the regular season against Calvary Baptist, New Life Christian Academy, and Maryland School for the Deaf.
The Patriots are full of growth and they have shown their progression on the floor all season. Reisberg said it all starts on the bench, certainly not to take anything away from the talents of Camille Echegoyen and Sydney Wooden, two senior captains and recent 1,000-point scorers.
“This team has grown along the way and the bench has gotten better,” Reisberg said. “We can play anybody and there’s not a lot of differences as to who’s on the floor. At the beginning of the season, it was like we had five and we had to stick with that five but we lost some games at the beginning because they were dead exhausted because we couldn’t go to the bench.
“Now, I’m putting people in and some of the starters can go again, so it’s great.”
Echegoyen, Wooden, Emily Wright, Kaylee Strickland, and Erika Wike are set to be recognized Friday in a senior night ceremony at the Patriots’ home contest against Calvary Baptist.
Echegoyen and Wooden each surpassed the 1,000-point scoring mark earlier this winter. The duo came up through the Carroll Christian school system and have been playing together for many years, sharing in each other’s individual and team accomplishments.
“We definitely had to work for it and it’s not something you can just walk into the gym and just get,” Wooden said. “Only two people in the past have gotten it for girls so it’s very honoring especially to get it with her. Growing up through middle school it’s always been ‘Sydney and Camille,’ so to get it in the same year as her is exciting.
“It’s something you hear about growing up and I never thought I would get it so doing that has been insane, I’m very thankful.”
Added Echegoyen: “It was very humbling because I know I didn’t do it alone, that I did it with my team and with the Lord giving me the ability to play. It’s surreal because it’s our last season ever in high school so just knowing we can make a difference in the younger players coming up, it’s nice.”
Echegoyen said the Patriots started to jell after Christmas break and have molded into a solid team that boasts a lot of potential and talent. She’s averaging 12.2 points (14 games) and Wooden is at 13.2 points per game (12 games).
The Patriots have won 10 Maryland Association of Christian Schools championships and are currently the two-time reigning conference champions. They won five straight MACSAC titles from 2005-2009 and also won titles in 2001, 2003, and 2013.
The Patriots suffered a 51-31 loss to Loudoun County Homeschool on Tuesday, but Reisberg, in his 18th season as Carroll’s coach, said he was impressed by his team’s tenacity.
“These girls don’t quit,” Reisberg said. “ …To be right there and never really getting out of it, sticking with it and being able to rotate all the way down the bench — that’s something we weren’t able to do at the beginning of the season, but the bench players are getting better and better each day and it makes everybody better.”