After dismantling South Aiken High School 59-27 Tuesday night at the Evans Bruster Ice Cream Thanksgiving Classic, the Grovetown Lady Warriors went into Thanksgiving on a roll.
“We’ve had four games in five days and I’m really proud of the way they’ve fought,” said Lady Warriors’ head coach Jaime Echols, whose squad reeled off all wins in that stretch. “It’s a lot of basketball. We had a late one on Friday and Saturday morning. It tested us and it was good for us. We’ve never played five games before Thanksgiving. Some years we’ve played none.”
The 4-1 Lady Warriors took home wins from the Evans tournament, showing their versatility along the way. In Monday night’s win over Thomson, they trailed 12-6 after one period, but rebounded to win 42-32. They were led by Alayah Canteen’s 19 points, the only player on the team in double figures.
Canteen helped spur a 9-2 run to start the fourth period, breaking a 28-all tie, scoring six points on two layups and a jumper during the stretch.
Tuesday night, the Lady Warriors got off to a blazing start. They knocked down five of their first six shots and led 22-0 before the Lady Thoroughbreds sank a free throw with 1:16 left in the first period.
The Lady Warriors led 24-4 at the end of the period with six different players scoring, with Rashanna Porter, Naomi Hughes, Canteen and Leah Ferguson all with five points apiece.
Echols kept his roster to a minimum entering the season and it has worked almost to perfection thus far.
“Our thought process was we’re keeping 10, all 10 are playing,” Echols said. “Going into this game, we had four games and we had three different leading scorers for us. Everybody’s getting it done and it’s just good team basketball.”
After scoring eight points against Thomson, junior forward Leah Ferguson scorched the Lady Thoroughbreds (1-1) for a game-high 24 points. She knocked down three 3-pointers and when she saw a lane, she took it to the hoop for scores. Hughes added 14 points and 15 rebounds while point guard Chealsy Reaves had four of the team’s 17 assists.
Echols is happy with the way the season has begun, but he knows that it’s a long grind.
“It got us off to a good start,” said Echols of the win streak. “It’s all important and it’s all good, but it’s region play in January which we’re trying to gear ourselves up for. We’ve got some really, really good teams in our region. We’ve just got to get prepared physically and mentally for them.”