Sonya Drayton admits she gets nervous around this time of the year.

Her daughters, ChaRon and JaRonna Singleton, play basketball for North Charleston High School, and January has not been kind to JaRonna, the youngest of the two.

JaRonna injured her right knee (torn ACL) on Jan. 16, 2009, and reinjured it on Jan. 19 of last year.

"I get butterflies around this time of the year because of what happened," Drayton said. "She's been sidelined for the past two years after the second week in the month of January."

But mom doesn't have to worry about her daughters' athletic ability or academic standing. Both ChaRon and JaRonna have key roles on a team that owns a 17-3 record heading into tonight's Region 6-AA game against Garrett Tech. And both excel in the classroom: ChaRon is ranked No. 1 academically in the senior class, while JaRonna is in the top 15 in the junior class.

The players have different personalities. ChaRon is more talkative and could be the family spokesperson. But they have the same goal.

"We want to win the state championship," said ChaRon, who helped the Cougars reach the state championship game her eighth-grade season. "We have one goal and that's to win the state championship. It doesn't matter what I accomplish as an individual as long as we win the state championship."

The Cougars reached the Lower State championship during ChaRon's freshman and sophomore seasons. Last year, North Charleston came up short, even though she led the team in scoring. This year, her role has changed. She's more of a facilitator than scorer, but is still averaging 11.7 points per game. She is second on the team with 8.2 rebounds per game, and her 8.2 assists and 5.1 steals per game lead the Cougars.

JaRonna averages 7.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game.

First-year coach Jerald "Shake" Freeman says the sisters are very coachable.

"They go all out and listen to what you say. It's gratifying to coach a pair like that," Freeman said. "ChaRon is No. 1 in her class and has played in two state championship games, including one at Northwood Academy her seventh-grade year. She's a joy to coach. Sometimes I find that I have to coach everyone but ChaRon. She's like having a coach on the floor.

"JaRonna was a little hesitant because of the knee injury," Freeman added. "I sat her down and talked about it, and now she's not even worried about it. She's playing with the intensity we need."

ChaRon says she's not a bookworm, even though she is No. 1 in her class. Her goal is to attend a school with a great academic reputation and walk on to the basketball team. She said her older sister -- Jolisa Dickinson (Class of 2007) -- provided the inspiration to be No. 1 in her class.

"My older sister was the salutatorian," she said. "I said if she could do it, I could do it. I work hard and study hard."

But for now, the sisters are focusing on a successful trip to Columbia, the location of the state championship games.

"It takes hard work, dedication and belief," JaRonna said. "You have to believe."