Crossroads Christian women’s basketball player Mattie Grissom (21) drives for a layup during her team’s 62-18 loss to Grace Christian’s junior varsity program on Friday evening.

HENDERSON — The Crossroads Christian women’s basketball team found itself in a unique position on Friday evening with Grace Christian traveling up to Henderson.

With most of their roster consisting of eighth- and ninth-graders, Crossroads ended up playing a de facto junior varsity contest against Grace Christian’s squad, as opposed to facing the 20-1 varsity program that defeated them 82-11 back on Dec. 3.

But a similar result befell Crossroads as the Colts fell 62-18 to Grace Christian’s junior varsity team, which served to further convince head coach Adrinne Pettaway that the women’s basketball team still needs to make a tremendous amount of progress before they are ready to be competitive.

“We’re struggling with leadership on the court,” Pettaway said. “I’m proud of them for not giving up because I always tell them to play until the end. All I can expect from them right now is to give it everything that they have.”

The lack of experience on Crossroads’ roster at the moment contributed to other issues that Pettaway saw on Friday evening.

At numerous points in the game, Pettaway saw her players get nervous when Grace Christian applied pressure. This caused the Colts to lose concentration on both ends of the floor and miss several easy shots at the rim.

Pettaway anticipated that Grace Christian’s junior varsity program was still going to challenge her young players, and is hoping the tough losses they have endured throughout the season are teaching them valuable lessons on how to be successful going forward.

Pettaway feels comfortable knowing that she will be able to work with many players for a significant period of time, and believes the team will find that competitive edge with more time together on the basketball court.

“There’s been some growth, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Pettaway said.

“A lot of this comes down to just handling pressure, but that will come with experience. All I can do is keep encouraging the girls and put in the work outside of practice.”

There are some encouraging signs. Pettaway has been impressed with the consistency freshman Mattie Grissom so far and is expecting her to be a key focal point on both sides of the ball over the next few years.

With three weeks remaining on the regular season, Pettaway intends to keep fine-tuning Crossroads’ offense and defense in practice so the program can put itself in solid position to win a few more games before closing out its first year under her leadership.

“We want to finish strong,” Pettaway said. “We’re going to give this all we got and keep developing. The goal is to just try and improve with each game on both an individual and team level.”

The next varsity game for Crossroads will be in Greensboro on Tuesday when the Colts face New Garden Friends at 5:15 p.m..

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