Taking the season as a learning tool

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The 2018-19 season came to a conclusion for the Cumberland County High School varsity girls basketball team last week in the Region 1B quarterfinals, ending a learning campaign for the Lady Dukes.

Holding the No. 3 seed, they hosted No. 6 Appomattox Regional Governor’s School but fell 61-50.

Cumberland Head Coach Omar Liggins was largely pleased with his players’ performance.

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“They didn’t play bad,” he said. “We just ran up against a monster.”

The “monster” he was referring to was the opposing team’s star player, senior forward Jada Boyd.

“She played and show us exactly why she’s a (Division I) player,” Liggins said. “The girls did their best. We fought hard, we played hard.”

However, he noted that his team struggled with turning the ball over and missing free throws.

“When you’ve got a girl of that caliber, who knows how to play, who knows how to get to the ball, who knows how to get to the basket, you can’t do that,” Liggins said. “Just a rough way to go out.”

He estimated that Boyd accounted for about 40 of her team’s points despite being hurt.

Leading Cumberland was junior forward Sade’ Gregory, who scored 16 points. Sophomore guard Janaia Trent had nine points, and junior guard Nikki Hurt added seven.

With the loss, the Lady Dukes finished the season with an 8-11 overall record.

Thinking on the season as a whole, Liggins said, “We’re going to definitely take it as a learning tool. I think there was a couple of games … I think we should have had one that we didn’t.”

Looking forward, he said, “We’re only losing two girls, so hopefully the girls coming back will learn and understand that you can’t make turnovers, you can’t have missed free throws, you can’t have good games one night and bad games the next — you’ve got to stay consistent. So hopefully they’ll learn, we’ll get better over the summer, and hopefully we’ll come back ready to play again next year.”