Red Raider girls return strong core

Nov. 19, 2012 @ 04:53 PM

Last year, the T.W. Andrews girls basketball team had one of its best season in decades. Now, it looks to do even better this year.
The Red Raiders return a strong core group of players from last year’s team that went 22-7 overall, completed an undefeated run through the PAC-6 2A regular-season and tournament and reached the sectional finals of the state tournament.
So, the expectations are high, and they want to keep pushing them higher.
“Our expectation is to compete with everyone we play, teams like Thomasville, Lexington, Southwest Guilford, Ragsdale, High Point Central,” said coach John Shearin, in his third year. “And, of course, we want to improve and get better than we were last year.”
Andrews lost seniors Jamerah Prince and starter Cherish McArthur but return five of the six players who started over half the games: senior Gayla Fairley, junior Imani Watkins, junior October Campbell, senior Santia Davis and junior Shamisha Farabee. Watkins and Campbell were all-conference while Davis was co-player of the year.
The Red Raiders also return Alexia Guidry and Tonea Hairston while they add small forward Mariah Sanders, wing Destiny Timberlake and guard Jazlyn Taylor. So, they have a number of weapons and options to become a very good team into conference play and the playoffs.
“Right now, we look like a team that’s aware and returns a lot of experienced players,” Shearin said. “We understand that everyone else is shooting for us, so we’re not going to let them sneak up on us.
“We have to take the successes of last year, build on them and push beyond last year. We can’t be content. He have to push the bar even higher. … We have to continue to be mentally prepared and get better fundamentally.”
Andrews, which won its first conference regular-season title since 1997-98 and its first conference tournament title in roughly two decades, opens its schedule Tuesday at Greensboro Smith.
“A success for us this year would be to be even better than last year,” Shearin said. “Better as a team and individually, as well as be great students. We want to improve in all areas of the game and challenge the girls to become better student-athletes.”