Cross girls ranked in top 10

Lauryn Wilson

Lauryn Wilson (24), shown in a game earlier this season, had some clutch plays against C.E. Murray.

The Cross High School girls basketball team has won four straight and improved to 2-0 in the region with a 52-48 victory at C.E. Murray High School on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Lauren Middleton poured in a game-high 25 points and dished out nine assists to go along with three steals. She scored 21 in the second half and made some clutch free throws in the fourth quarter as the No. 7 Lady Trojans continued their winning ways.

Tranice Smalls and Lauryn Wilson added eight points apiece and made key plays late. Smalls had a big steal and layup with one minute left and Wilson made two blocks and a steal in the final seconds to seal it.

Smalls made six steals and Wilson grabbed five rebounds.

All of Wilson’s points came in the last five minutes.

“We got great production and leadership from our senior late in the fourth quarter,” Cross coach Reese Felder said. “She has been working her butt off in practice and I am extremely proud to see it pay off for her.”

On Jan. 10, the Lady Trojans coasted past Branchville, 59-13, in the region opener. Nadia President led with 14 points and tracked down five rebounds to go with five steals.

Middleton also reached double figures with 12 points and contributed six assists and seven steals.

Felder’s team has had to dig down deep in recent weeks.

“This team has been hit with a great deal of adversity over the past two weeks,” Felder said. “We have had a few players miss time for various reasons, and teams have really given us their best shot. To this point we have stood up to every challenge and we will continue to fight for each other. These young ladies have set a high expectation for themselves and the coaching staff is going to do everything we can to help them achieve their goals.”

Cross is slated to tangle with No. 1 Scott’s Branch on Jan. 17 (after press time) in a battle of Top 10 teams. Scott’s Branch is the defending Class A state champion.

“I know Coach Stukes has her team very well prepared and we are ready for the challenge,” Felder said. “I believe this game will be a great measuring stick for both teams.”