Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Three years ago, then Goose Creek girls’ assistant basketball coach Calvin Davis knew his basketball methods would work toward building a solid program at Cross.
He just had no idea it would work this fast.
“I wanted to instill the work ethic and tradition that has become with Goose Creek girls basketball into the girls up here at Cross,” said Davis, in his third year at the helm of the Lady Trojans’ basketball team. “I knew what we had in Goose Creek would work up here. It was just a matter of the girls buying into it.”
The Lady Trojans did just that and on Feb. 19, 2013, the first region championship banner in 32 years was hoisted to the Cross gymnasium rafters. This week Davis and his Lady Trojans have the chance to do it again.
Davis didn’t think they would catch on that fast.
“It’s from the top all the way down to the bottom at the Park and Recreation level,” Davis said. “We have to get these girls at an early age and teach them how to play basketball. We have to teach them young because at a school like Cross, we’ll need them young.”
Because Cross is one of the smallest high schools in Berkeley County, Davis has to dip into the middle school ranks to fill out his roster.
His current 2013-2014 roster includes as many eighth graders (two) as it does seniors.
“It will always be that way here,” Davis said. “Our roster has players staggered at each class level.”
In addition to the two pair of eighth graders and seniors the Lady Trojans consist of three freshmen, two sophomores and four juniors.
“This is why we need the feeder programs at the Park and Rec level,” Davis said. “Because they have to know how to play basketball once they get here.”
Davis is always talking basketball. Arrive 45 minutes early for a Trojans football game in the fall and you can walk the sidelines with him until kickoff - talking basketball.
He’ll point to the cheerleaders standing in formation up the sideline and point out his point guard, shooting guard and small forward.
At Cross the order of the day is to wear many hats.
After senior Marchaeya Gilliard finishes a game with her Lady Trojans, she rushes into the locker room like Supergirl and changes uniforms, making it to the bleachers before tip off of the boys’ game to cheer on the guys.
For Davis there is only one scoreboard, and that’s points scored when it comes to determining region seeding.
“We have to beat Baptist Hill by more than five points and we can’t let them beat us by more than five points,” he said.
Seeding isn’t determined by a won/loss record but instead by points scored and points allowed.
Part of the preparation for his team’s region schedule play is to schedule as tough a non-region schedule as opposing schools will allow.
This includes holiday tournaments against much bigger schools such as Sumerville and North Myrtle Beach, and home-and-home tilts against schools like Timberland,Lake Marion and Stratford. The Lady Trojans beat AAAA’s Stratford twice 42-31 at home on Dec. 10 and 56-49 on the road on Jan. 7.
The Lady Trojans will play anybody, anytime, anywhere.
Athletic Director Shaun Wright said Davis’ value extends beyond the basketball sidelines.
“Our girls absolutely love him and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for each of them,” he said. “The only bad thing I have to say about Calvin is sometimes he is too nice. He is a big teddy bear but our girls play like lions.”
The Lady Trojans are Shanrya Lisbon, Marchaeya Gilliard, Sanobia Simmons, Jenazia Hall, Jayla Favenell, Allysha Wigfall, Bethany Brown, De’ssare Thompson, Zelphair Grant, Carde’Ja Ferguson, Tyjalay Halls, Dallas Ravenell and Khneisha Spann.