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State champ signs with UPike

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – One word can be used to describe the newest signee of the University of Pikeville women’s basketball team: Patrice Tonge is a winner.

Tonge, a 5-9 guard from Marion County High School, just helped her team finish the dream season, going 39-0 en route to the state championship that had eluded them throughout her career.

“Patrice will bring that winning mentality to our program,” said Coach Joanna McNamee, who is preparing for her first season as head coach of the Bears. “That attitude is something you simply can’t teach. She expects to win and knows how to make it happen. Players like this will work tirelessly and do whatever it takes to come out on top.

“We look forward to adding her to our program and having her on campus.”

Tonge and the Lady Knights climbed the ladder progressively throughout her career. As a freshman, they reached the Sweet 16 and finished 33-2. She averaged just under four points and two rebounds per game. They followed that up with a 27-7 season, during which she averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds and reached the state semifinals.

As a junior, the Lady Knights were 34-5 and lost in the championship game. She averaged 5.6 points and 4.0 rebounds, shooting 45.7 percent from the floor and 73.0 percent from the line.

Last season Tonge averaged 9.6 points and 3.9 rebounds to help her team to the undefeated campaign. She shot 48.3 percent overall and 65.0 percent from the stripe.

For her career, Tonge scored 848 points while finishing with a record of 133-14.

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