Lady Chargers improve to 2-2

Published 1:37 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Central High School’s varsity girls basketball team started the 2018- 19 season with a couple of losses, but the Lady Chargers were able to enter the holiday hiatus this week having reversed that trend.

“It’s nice especially to go on break with a little winning streak going on,” Central Head Coach Scott Wilson said.

The Lady Chargers brought their record back to .500 when they defeated visiting Randolph-Henry High School 43-31 on Tuesday.

Prior to that, on Dec. 14, Central visited Bluestone High School and won in a blowout, 49-25.

Wilson pointed out how increased familiarity with one another and improved offensive play has helped his players orchestrate a two-game winning streak.

“With half the team (in) the first year on varsity and the other half their second year on varsity, they’re gaining experience, getting used to playing with one another and basically just trying to improve each game …” the coach said. “But I really think one of the factors that we’ve had, especially last year, was just scoring enough points, and we’re starting to get in the scoring column. We had difficulty even scoring above 30 points last year …”

Against the Lady Statesmen, sophomore guard DaJaMeka White-Freeman scored 11 points, and senior center Ladasha Robertson contributed eight points.

“They were our two leading scorers,” Wilson said.

Sophomore forward Aaliyah Alexander recorded six points, and Wilson noted that a couple players had five points and a couple had four.

Offense was not the only thing that impacted the outcome of Tuesday’s game, though, and it was not even necessarily the primary thing.

“One thing that we’ve been working on and trying to improve — besides our offense — is pressing and being in the right position, (knowing) when to trap at the right opportunity,” Wilson said. “And we’ve been trying to implement that a little bit at a time each game until I feel like that we’ve been able to do it correctly.”

“And the Randolph-Henry game, for the first time, I really saw (my players) implement the press correctly throughout the whole game,” he continued. “We fell behind 15-8 to Randolph-Henry probably midway through the second quarter, and then I went to a press, and then we outscored them 35-16 the rest of the way. We stayed in a press until late in the fourth quarter. The press made the difference in that game.”

The key to victory Dec. 14 against struggling Bluestone was “just a well-rounded, solid game, both offensively and defensively,” Wilson said.

Robertson was Central’s leading scorer in that game with 14 points.

“That was a career-high for her, and she also had 10 rebounds to get her first double-double, and in that game, it’s great to see her development in doing a great job,” the coach said. “Last year, she was behind Megan Dech on the depth chart, so she didn’t get a lot of playing time, and this year, she’s really filled the role, and so I’m very pleased with how she’s been doing lately.”

Also contributing to the strong offensive showing were White-Freeman, with eight points, Alexander, with seven, junior guard Nyasia Tate, with seven, and sophomore forward Asia Crawley, with six.

The Lady Chargers (2-2) entered the winter break fully healthy and will resume play 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, at home against undefeated Prince Edward County High School.

“We know what Prince Edward brings,” Wilson said. “They have last year’s (district) Player of the Year, Da’Mya Harris, and so it’s going to be a good, true test in seeing how much we are continuing to improve and see how we do against some of the top-level teams in the district.”