WCCA teams a combined 21-0 so far; face greatest test today

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2000

WOODVILLE – Many basketball teams require a good, early loss to focus the players’ attention and show the team its own weaknesses before a successful season is possible.

And some teams just go undefeated.

That is exactly what both the Wilkinson County Christian Academy girls and boys varsity teams intend to do, as the Lady Rams have started the season 12-0 and the Rams are not far behind at 9-0.

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&uot;We’ve had a good start,&uot; said Ricky Gray, who coaches both teams. &uot;We’re just trying to take it one game at a time.&uot;

Gray contributes the school’s success on the court to the hard work put into training over the summer.

&uot;I think I’ve got some experienced players back,&uot; he said. &uot;They really grew up last year. We had a really good summer in the weight room.

&uot;But the big difference, I think, is in the maturity of the kids.&uot;

That is especially true on the boys team, which starts four seniors.

&uot;We’re trying to play team ball,&uot; said senior forward Adam Cornette, who is so far averaging more than 25 points a game. &uot;We can’t do anything without each other.&uot;

&uot;We’re all small, so we have to play as a team, that’s for sure,&uot; added senior post-man Bryce Crawford. &uot;We don’t have too many big people.&uot;

Seniors John Stewart Daniel, Brandon Cavin and Jeremy McGraw and sophomore guard Jason Reed are also key contributors, Gray said.

The girls team is led by junior point guard Jennifer Tolbert, who is averaging 18 points a game. Emily Lewis, the only senior who starts for the Lady Rams, is the team’s leader on the court, Gray said.

The girls team is also aided with the addition of 6-foot-3 transfer student Kim Leonard.

&uot;She’s great on the boards,&uot; Gray said. &uot;She’s a good defender and she’s getting better every day.&uot;

Elsie Ford, Caroline Kee, Emily Lanehart and Amy Rutkowski are also integral to the Lady Rams’ recent success, Gray added.

WCCA will need all hands on deck today as both varsity teams travel to Brookhaven – an important game in more ways than one.

Brookhaven marks the first district game on WCCA’s schedule, and, although it may be early in the season to suggest, today’s games could decide the district title.

Both Brookhaven teams are ranked in the state’s top 10; the girls, at 15-1, are currently No. 2 in the state.

&uot;We’ll get tested, that’s for sure,&uot; Gray said.

And as if the game weren’t important enough already, the team’s respective coaches add a touch of drama – Gray’s brother, Barry, is Brookhaven’s head coach.

&uot;I’m looking forward to knocking him off that No. 2 ranking,&uot; Gray said.

&uot;He really wants this one,&uot; Crawford said of his coach. &uot;And so do we. We’re just going to play the best we can and hope for the best.&uot;