Freedom lost 37-54 on its home court after being outrun and outgunned by the Colts. The Falcons fell behind 0-5, got within two points at 4-6 but then trailed by double digits for much of the rest of the game due to too many turnovers, bad passes and bad shots. They were down 12 at the end of the first quarter, behind by 15 at the half, down 19 at the end of the third quarter and lost by 17 at the final buzzer.
The one bright spot for the Falcons was the play of Kerena Trice, who scored 17 points, displayed good ball-handling and wasn’t afraid to take it to the hole when she got the chance. The other potential bright spot is that Freedom has a new coach this year, Natalie Farmer, who is new to the school and has a background in softball, which she has played and coached at the college level.
“We are working on the fundamentals of the game, trying to give them the tools to make them individually better and then make our team better,” said Farmer. “We have got to rebound more. We have to have less turnovers and really try to instill a positive attitude going into the game. You’ve really got to be positive and stay that way all the way through.
“I hear they have had some bad losses in the past and not so much a winning record. It’s a new year. I’m a new person. I don’t know anything about that. It starts with mentally wanting it and being positive and thinking that you can do it.”
Farmer was impressed with the play of Trice and hopes her example will motivate other players. “She definitely was a player leader out there,” she said. “I’m looking for some more vocal leaders as well. She wasn’t afraid and she took it to the hoop and she gave us the playing boost that we needed to see.”
Another guard that Farmer is looking to step up is senior Kimberly Westlund, who has “a lot of speed and a lot of good ball handling,” said Farmer. “Both those two guards are going to do some good things.” Two other players to watch for are senior Keyara Goodlow-Young and sophomore Nicole Mass.
“I’m excited to see what (all of the players) bring to the table every single day,” said Farmer. “It’s new for me. And I just try my best and am trying to have some positive attitudes to win some games out here.”
Freedom played Dougherty Valley Wednesday and currently is in the midst of the Northgate Tournament, which will be followed by some down time before traveling to Napa and hosting the West Coast Jamboree at the end of the month. League play starts at home on Saturday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. against Heritage.