Cross High School’s girls basketball team coasted past three opponents to claim the St. John’s Islanders New Year’s tournament crown Jan. 3-4 on Johns Island.
Cross extended its win streak to five games and has dodged all the potholes and speed bumps in the surge. It started the streak with an 84-7 win over Royal Live Oaks on Dec. 18 and continued with a 61-35 victory over Timberland two days later.
In the tournament, Coach Reese Felder’s squad handled St. John’s Christian (62-14), Cathedral (62-46) and St.John’s (63-27).
“Our team was able to knock some of the rust off that comes with a long layoff,” Felder said. “All teams (in the tournament) were well-coached and competed hard. We are thankful for coming out with the championship and we will do our best to allow this moment to drive us to becoming more cohesive and consistent as the season progresses.”
The Lady Trojans (8-3) travel to Calhoun County on Jan. 6 (after press time) before sparking region play on Jan. 10 at Branchville. They go to C.E. Murray on Jan. 14 and host Scott’s Branch on Jan. 17 and Bethune-Bowman on Jan. 21 to complete the first rotation through the region slate.
Cross has won seven of its last eight games.
In the St. John’s tournament, Cross seventh grader Lauren Middleton was named the most valuable player. She dominated the championship game with 25 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, five steals and three blocks. She knocked down six shots beyond the arc.
On the season, Middleton averages 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds. More top performers mentioned by Felder are Nadia President (14 ppg, 8 apg, 5 spg), Taia Gattis (18 ppg, 9 rpg, 5 spg) and Lauryn Wilson (8 ppg, 6 rpg).
Felder also praised the team’s assistant coaches.
“I would really like to thank Henry Middleton, Aaisha Owens and Pam Hall for having our team well-prepared for each game,” Felder said. “My staff works tirelessly to make sure these young ladies have everything they need and our success would not have been possible without their work.”