Crossroads Christian women’s basketball player Mattie Grissom (center) gets pressured by a Grace Christian defender during her team’s 82-11 loss on Friday evening.

SANFORD — Friday’s rough outing for the Crossroads Christian women’s basketball team against Grace Christian was best summarized by the first quarter.

Grace Christian effectively navigated its way around Crossroads’ defense and took advantage of several offensive mistakes to build a 42-point advantage after just eight minutes of play. The Crusaders ended up winning 82-11.

Head coach Adrine Pettaway knew that her young roster faced astronomical odds on Friday, but repeatedly encouraged them to display toughness and resilience through all four quarters regardless of the final outcome.

“We played against a much better team,” Pettaway said. “The height and size of [Grace Christian] was intimidating from the beginning, but I told the girls to go out there and let them know they were going to give it all they had. I’m proud of the girls for not giving up, and that’s all I can ask for.”

Determination is one of a handful of aspects that Pettaway believes has made Crossroads a much better team despite its 1-4 record.

Pettaway said that her players have gradually become closer and built trust with one another. She added that those things are essential to future success for Crossroads as the underclassmen gain more experience.

Fundamentals remain a key issue after five games, which Pettaway said stems from the inexperience on the roster. She plans to keep emphasizing the basics of basketball during her first year of rebuilding the Crossroads women’s basketball team, with the goal of giving her players the necessary confidence to win more games at the end of the season.

“We’re going to keep doing more drills as far as defense and the fundamentals go,” Pettaway said. “They have a lot to learn with their footwork and communication. We know what we’re lacking, but it’s taking time because there are a lot of eighth- and ninth-graders with us. I just have to keep encouraging the girls to trust the process.”

Crossroads next game is a road matchup on Tuesday against Friendship Christian at 6 p.m.

Contact Brandon White at bwhite@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2840

Contact Brandon White at bwhite@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2840

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