Kelly Suggs remembers the challenge of playing varsity basketball as a freshman against juniors and seniors. But now that the Fuquay-Varina guard is a senior, she has advice for Apex Friendship’s young team.
Suggs scored 7 points to help the Bengals to a 38-17 win over the Patriots Tuesday night in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference opener for both schools. Friendship, a new school with only freshmen and sophomore classes, dropped to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in SWAC play. Fuquay improved to 2-2 and 1-1.
“I would tell them to keep working and keep their heads up,” Suggs said. “They’re young, but they didn’t let up the whole game. They played hard.”
Suggs is the only senior on the Bengals’ young roster, but she said many of juniors and sophomores gained experienced last year.
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“I’ve learned to calm down and take charge,” Suggs said. “I’m more in control of the team. I used to let one of the other seniors take over, but now I’m the one taking charge.”
Friendship sophomore Malaika Kimmons is the Patriots’ veteran based on varsity playing time. She played varsity basketball as a freshman at Holly Springs last year, and she is the only Friendship basketball player that was on varsity volleyball team last fall.
The outcome was clear in the first quarter when Fuquay scored the game’s first nine points on the way to a 13-3 first-quarter lead. Friendship ran plays and displayed fundamentals on moves to the basket, but finishing was a problem.
They said it
“I’m trying to push my teammates since I’m the only one that has been through this. I know what it’s like. People expect us to lose, but our goal is to win. I know our junior and senior year we’re going to be great. It’s all about getting better.” – Kimmons.
Three who mattered
Camryn Lumsford, Friendship: She sophomore scored 6 points and showed an ability to drive to the basket.
Aya Bethea, Fuquay-Varina: The junior scored 8 points.
Alysha Diallo, Fuquay-Varina: The junior scored 8 points.
Friendship coach Scott Campbell should have looked familiar to basketball fans in the Fuquay gym. Campbell coached 23 years at Apex until he retired following the 2010-11 season.
He’s happy to be back on the sidelines.
“We’re playing very hard,” Campbell said. “We’re not playing the smartest right now and we’re struggling to score so sometimes playing hard is not being rewarded. But it will be. They’re coachable and they listen. I’m having ball. I’m glad I got back into it.”