NW duo sets the pace for Lady Colts
Teammates Patton, Bembry leading girl cagers
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Playing in the shadows of teams like Cass Tech, Mumford, Renaissance and Cody isn’t easy. Those four squads have been the pacesetters in the PSL West, while the other teams in the league are seen as “also-rans.”
Trying to keep up with the four schools has been a task for their competition.
One of those other schools is attempting to break down that juggernaut owned by the PSL West “Big Four.”
Although they’re only 3-3 (1-2 PSL West), Northwestern head coach Orlando Watkins is depending on the performance of two of his key seniors to lead his Lady Colts on the floor to better prospects this season.
Shavarra Patton, a 5-7 guard, and Trebion Bembry, a 6-1 center, are pouring baskets into the nets to keep Northwestern’s playoff and championship chances alive.
Both girls are two of the three co-captains to this year’s squad and are striving to inspire their teammates.
“I can handle the pressure pretty well,” Patton said. “I want to do my best to inspire the others on the court. I tell the others where to play and get to their spot. My skills and values have gotten me this far in the game.”
Patton has been a strong and perfect example leading the Lady Colts in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game. Patton is also averaging six rebounds, five steals and three assists per game.
“As one of the co-captains, Shavarra’s a well-focused player,” Watkins said. “She helps us tremendously because she’s one of the leaders on the court.”
Patton doesn’t like to lose and at times it shows, Watkins said of his star player.
“She can play on the level with the girls at Cass Tech, Mumford and Renaissance. We’re happy with her performance so far this season,” he said.
Playing her third year on the Northwestern varsity squad, Patton has seen the ups and downs during a season. In the Lady Colts’ 35-74 defeat in the hands of unbeaten King, Patton felt she and her fellow Lady Colts could’ve done better, although she scored 15 points herself.
“We could’ve done better,” she said. “The lost taught me to be more aggressive and work harder at practices.”
The harder work has paid off. Patton recently put in a strong performance scoring a game-high 19 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in a 61-19 rout of Western International last week. Bembry also scored 19 points.
In her first year on the squad, Bembry is a transfer from Columbia Center High in Brooklyn, Mich. Despite this being her only season for Northwestern, the 6-1 center is averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds per game.
“It was a huge adjustment for Trebion coming from Brooklyn to Detroit. She has made it because she’s a really good kid because she works extremely hard,” Watkins said.
“Even though we lost to King, we played our best,” Bembry said. “This is a good team because we play as a family. Everybody is close.”
Currently carrying a 3.0 grade point average, Patton has been heavily recruited by junior colleges like Schoolcraft College, Owens Tech (Toledo, Ohio), Minerals CC (Missouri) and NAIA schools like Marygrove College, Bethune-Cookman, and Philander C. Smith (Little Rock, Ark.). Bembry on the other hand carries a 3.8 overall GPA with an ACT score of 27. She’s been looking at Wayne State, Bethune-Cookman, Marygrove College and Oakland University.
“There’s nothing with JC (junior college),” Watkins said. “A lot of kids in the PSL want to go away to college because they want to get a full college experience.
“As for the remainder of the season we started slow, but hopefully we can get the winning spirit back together for the second half of the season.”