There will be brighter days ahead.

The Indian River girls’ basketball team proved that with a promising glimpse into their future.

But, for the time being, head coach Roger Clay’s squad is a work-in-progress.

The Green & Gold dropped each of its first three games of the 2021-2022 season, last weekend and Tuesday night.

“We are struggling, but we are getting better throughout this rebuilding phase,” said head coach Roger Clay after the Indians (0-3-0 overall, 0-1-0 conference) lost to Henlopen Conference rival Lake Forest, 46-11, on Tuesday. “Rebuilding a program at the varsity level takes time, commitment and effort, along with patience and dedication. We need these things not just from the players and coaches, but from the parents and the community as well.”

In last weekend’s season-opening Tip Off Classic tournament expertly hosted by Indian River High School, the Green & Gold lost 46-35 on Friday to Worcester Prep (Berlin, Md.), and 52-15 to girls’ tourney champion Sts. Peter & Paul (Easton, Md.) on Saturday.

The Indians started strong in Friday’s opener by taking a 13-10 lead over Worcester Prep after one quarter. But they were held to single-digit scoring in each of the final three stanzas by the Mallards. Freshman guard Mya Whittington provided a glimpse into what will be a bright future for IR, with a team-high 19 points, while senior Le’Anya Garrison added 10.

“Mya adds a lot of skill to the team,” said Clay. “She is just starting out and will only get better. She serves as a great example of just how important it is to get our youth involved in sports at an earlier age. She’s played the game for a while, and it shows. Her level of play is what we look forward to at the varsity level, and I am excited to see her growth as an individual and team player over the next few years.

“In Saturday’s game, the ball just didn’t find its way through the hoop for us,” Clay said. Sophomore Alex Davidson led his team in scoring with six points. “As we continue to develop our individual and team skills, the wins will come. We are going to continue to grow as a program by working hard each day.”

Staff Reporter

Mike is a veteran sports journalist, covering generations of student-athletes in Pennsylvania, Texas and Delaware. He moved to the area in 2018 with his wife, Colleen. His passion for people and sports enables him to honor young athletes’ achievements.