Cape girls’ basketball coach Pat Woods has loaded up the Lady Vikings’ schedule with some of the top schools in the country and is looking for his players to respond with the intestinal fortitude to play with the big girls.
“It’s a matter of the girls staying healthy and trusting each other,” said the former Cape and Wesley College all-star who enters his second season with the Vikings. “We have a really tough non-conference schedule, and if we share the ball, we are going to be good.”
Cape will open with Polytech Thursday, Dec. 5, then travel to the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington to play a strong Archbishop Carroll team in the Tip Off Classic Saturday, Dec. 7. They will play the American Heritage School from Florida Saturday, Dec. 14; St. Mary’s of New York Saturday, Dec. 28; and The Shipley School of Pennsylvania Saturday, Jan. 4. Shipley was the Pennsylvania state champs in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
“It’s going to be great competition where you have to do everything right in order to compete,” Woods said. “I want the girls to look back on this season and say what a great experience it was. We can’t be afraid to fail. Life is about battling back. The more tough situations we put them in, the better. We just have to do more mental coaching to meet the challenges.”
Cape returns Mehkia Applewhite, Abbey Hearn, Morgan Mahoney, Carlin Quinn, Ryleigh Elliott, Jhayden Holloman and Dania Cannon. Possibly splitting time between varsity and JV is transfer Grace Totten.
“We don’t need the new people to feel they need to score for us,” said Woods. “They just need to know their role.”
Woods feels tough conference competition will come from Polytech and Caesar Rodney.
“Polytech beat us last year, and they are really well coached,” he said.
The Lady Vikings defeated Woodbridge 56-42 to win the 2019 Henlopen Conference Championship and fell in the quarterfinals of the DIAA State Championship to St. Elizabeth.
The Vikings will open their preseason competition Saturday, Nov. 23, with Woodbridge, Appoquinimink and Stephen Decatur.