Basketball Preview: North Pole Patriots Edition

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska. (KTVF) We continue our season previews for the 2019-2020 basketball season, and we make our next stop with the North Pole Patriots.
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Girls

The Lady Patriots are in the midst of a rebuild playing in the Mid-Alaska Conference. The Patriots have a few returners for the upcoming season, with Laura Donovan being their main scorer. They will be under Head Coach Robert Borba who will look to lead the Patriots who haven’t been to the state tournament since 2006 when North Pole was the state runner-up. With the rebuild, Borba is exercising patience with this young squad.

"Well it takes a lot of patience and the older ones are working along with them,” said Borba. “With eight returners and one of them being a junior and the rest are sophomore and freshman. Freshman, it's tough, they're showing up every day and working hard trying to get better and I'm liking what we've got."

Donovan has the most experience out of the roster, and she is being looked upon as the leader for the 2019-2020 Lady Patriots.
“We have a really young team and we are growing together and so each practice counts,” said Donovan. “You have to be patient and take it slow and show them the techniques, commitment and showing up every day and putting in your hardest at every practice."

There is also hope coming from Coach Borba with a roster he is calling with ‘a lot of potential’.

"These girls have not even played at the middle school, and what I see, is there is a lot of potential there,” said Coach Borba. “They have the ability and they're willing and they're here every day and wanting to go, so they have gotten better already with the practices we've had."

The Patriots starts their year with a match-up on December 21 against the Monroe Catholic Rams.
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Boys

The North Pole Patriots will have fresh new faces on their varsity squad for the 2019-2020 season. The Pats only return two players with varsity experience, with one of those being Alex Garcia. The three sport athlete has been playing behind Kenny Peterson, but with Peterson graduated it falls to Garcia to be the leader.

“Last year I wasn't considered a leader with Kenny there but this year I'm taking leadership of the team.” said Garcia.

North Pole is eyeing their first state tournament since 2011, when they placed 5th overall. Their Head Coach is Travis Church who is looking to get their defense to be staple of the program.

"It's been good so far a lot of focus on defense so far wanting to make it a staple in the program this year,” said Coach Church. “A lot of new faces, only two returning starters and only two that played varsity all year. New group of kids and we're looking forward to getting into the mix."

The Patriots open their season on December 21 against the Monroe Cath