Like most everybody else around the state, the Cross High School girls basketball team has been on the hardwood a lot less than it wants to be this winter.
The Lady Trojans are 2-1 on the season after coasting past Palmetto Scholars 81-39 on Jan. 6, their first game in over a month.
“With the long layoff, conditioning is an area of priority right now in addition to just getting the feel for the game back,” Cross girls coach Reese Felder said. “It is one thing to practice but there is a different level of adrenaline that you just can’t totally account for in practice.”
Felder returns a strong squad from last season and is ranked inside the state’s top 10 Class A teams. But the Lady Trojans have been in a holding pattern due to COVID-19 concerns and Felder doesn’t have any idea when Cross’s next game will be.
“We’re still waiting on the schools in the Charleston County School District,” Felder said. “Our region is on hold for right now. Four teams from our region are from Charleston County. I believe there are other teams that have had some issues with COVID-19, too.”
In the win over Palmetto Scholars, sophomore Tranice Smalls poured in a game-high 24 points. Freshman Diamonique Nelson and eighth-grader Lauren Middleton also reached double figures scoring with 18 and 16, respectively. Eighth-grader Nadia President and junior Taia Gattis kicked in eight and six points in the dominant effort.
Cross outscored Palmetto Scholars 50-19 in the second half.
Senior Dynasia Gillard-Butler paced Cross on the boards with 12 rebounds and Middleton tracked down 10 boards. Gattis and sophomore Melanay Taylor grabbed seven and six rebounds.
Smalls led the defensive effort with eight steals and Nelson made seven steals while President dished out 10 assists and Middleton six.
“We’re definitely good enough to compete with anybody,” Felder said. “It’s just a matter of putting it all together. It’s kind of hard to gauge your team when you’ve not gotten many opportunities to play in the preseason and the regular season. But there is nothing to cry about. Everybody in the state is dealing with the same issue.”
In Cross’s 53-40 victory against Lake Marion on Dec. 1, four players reached double figures in scoring. Taylor led the way with 12 points while Smalls, Nelson and Gattis tallied 10 points apiece.
Middleton led around the glass with seven boards while Gattis and Taylor grabbed five rebounds apiece. President doled out seven assists and Smalls snagged seven steals.
“This year has required us to take a patient approach but we’re not looking to complain,” Felder said. “We’re just looking to get it done.”