For The Beacon
Angelina Patel (Ashland)
One of Ashland’s five seniors faced plenty of adversity leading up to her last year with the Kittens.
Angelina Patel played for coach Bill Bradley her junior and senior year, though Bradley was unsure if she would be able to come out this season.
“She went through some injuries,” Bradley said. “We didn’t think she would come back this year because she had to have surgery.
“She’s a great track star, so we thought she would concentrate on getting rehab and on her track and strengths in it, but she wanted to play.”
Patel starred in several relays and in the triple jump for the Ashland track team in her high school career. She had made it to the state meet each year, and participated in three events in the 2019 2A state track meet.
Success also came to Patel on the basketball court, where she appeared in 31 games for Ashland in her career.
“The girls like her,” Bradley said. “She’s a great teammate, and she really works hard at it … Going through drills and all that on defense, she would always be on the scout team and she would always give 110 percent every day.”
Despite her injuries, Patel continued to give her all to the Kittens basketball team this winter.
“Even when she came back, she went full force … that kind of effort that you put in even after injury and you’re such a star in another sport, you think she might give it up and not try that hard,” Bradley said. “She was 110 percent every day.”
Bradley says Patel provided a great example to the younger players throughout her time with Ashland.
Gracie Crisp (Fairview)
When Gracie Crisp transferred to Fairview from Spring Valley (WV) before her junior season, it didn’t take long for Lady Eagles head coach Rex Cooksey to notice her many talents.
“It only took me about 30 or 45 seconds before I said “she’s got it all”,” Cooksey said.
“I coached her for her junior and senior year when she transferred in.”
Crisp led Fairview in scoring in each of her two seasons in Westwood. She scored 861 total points for an average of 14.8 points per game.
One of her greatest attributes was her versatility. Crisp could score from any spot on the floor and worked hard to improve her abilities.
In a game against Rose Hill her junior year, Crisp sank 20 free throws. Later in the season in a contest with Morgan County, she hit seven threes.
“I told her that she had to be multi-dimensional,” Cooksey said. “She couldn’t just be a shooter, she was going to have to be a penetrator and a driver and help set other people up.
“I’ve never heard her ever complain. She’s a gym rat, she was in the gym every single day besides our practice and she would put in hours after practice. On days when I gave them off even she went in there and worked.”
Crisp played a vital part in the resurgence of the Fairview girls basketball program. The Lady Eagles finished 21-8 overall on the season, starting the year on a school record 10-game winning streak.
Cooksey felt she provided a lot of things to his team on and off the court.
“She was always positive, and I think that’s the biggest thing she brought,” Cooksey said. “You don’t have to be a vocal leader, she led by more of an example.
“She’s a competitor, she’s a winner. I was just fortunate enough to get to coach her the last two years, she had two really great years.”
The Fairview standout will continue her basketball career at Kentucky Christian University.