One trip through the region slate shows the Goose Creek Lady Gators are the clear favorite to capture the Region 7-AAAA crown in basketball.
A devastating knee injury to Baylor signee Dekeiya Cohen has dropped West Ashley from their spot as the preseason favorite. Cohen, one of the state’s top players, is out for the season.
“We knew our biggest competitor would be West Ashley,” Lady Gators coach Tim Baldwin said. “It’s unfortunate an injury to a key player that was averaging over 20 points a game was taken out of the equation. That hurt them a lot.”
Baldwin’s team defeated Cane Bay 60-37 on Friday to improve to 18-2 overall and 4-0 in the region. A 50-34 road win over Wando was the closest margin of victory during the first rotation in region play. The Lady Gators also hammered rival Stratford by 42 and West Ashley by 37.
Barring something incredibly unforeseen, the Lady Gators will win their next four games in the same fashion. The key on the way in is to stay sharp for the playoffs, Baldwin said.
“That’s my job,” he added. “That’s my responsibility as a coach, to motivate them in practice every day and to challenge them. We’ve got five seniors on the team that are on the short end of the stick as far as how much basketball they have left in their career. I know that’s important to them. I’m relying on them to lead the younger kids.”
Against Cane Bay, Mariah Linney led three players in double figures with 14 points, while Ericka Broughton and Shakeia Joy added 12 and 10 respectively. Semoine Frasier and Alex Ludwig added nine apiece.
Makayla Dudley had 18 points to lead the Lady Cobras.
On the season, Linney and Joy average 11.6 and 10. 5 points a game. Frasier, Broughton and Ludwig all average eight-plus points per game.
Joy leads with 7.6 boards per game, while Linney is out front in steals (4.6) and assists (4.7) per game. Broughton blocks 2.1 shots a game.
Goose Creek travels to Stratford on Friday, Jan. 31.