The Berkeley High School girls basketball team begins its Region 7-AAAAA journey on Tuesday. The Lady Stags need to finish inside the top four to advance to the postseason for the sixth straight season.
They've not missed the playoffs since the 2013-14 season.
“Taking it one game at a time, doing the right things and communicating will be the key to success,” Berkeley coach Crystal Peace said. “The more these girls trust each other, the more they realize how important ‘team’ is. As a result, the rest will take care of itself.”
While they have a solid record, the road has been a bit bumpy for Peace’s team the first half of the season. The Lady Stags have fought through it by locking in on communication.
“The season has been rough but these kids have been working extremely hard in spite of the adversity that we’ve faced,” Pace said. “There were a few games where we only dressed seven girls due to injuries. My staff and I have really been trying to drill home the importance of communication on both sides of the ball. When the girls are talking, they are very consistent on the defensive end. When we’re quiet, we’re not as successful.”
Berkeley’s first region encounter is a home clash against Wando Jan. 14 before it travels to longtime king of the mountain Goose Creek on Friday, Jan. 17. The Lady Gators have won 68 straight region games and six straight region titles.
“We do not focus on our ‘record,” Peace said. “Each game the girls are asked to defend, rebound and take care of the basketball all while communicating the whole time, pretty much the exact same thing we work on daily in practice.”
The Lady Stags finish up the first rotation through the region slate with a home game against James Island (Jan. 21), at Stratford (Jan. 24) and at Cane Bay (Jan. 28).
Freshman forward Peighton Jambor (14.4 ppg, 9 rpg, 2.6 bpg) and freshman guard Jyahni Smith (12.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.7 spg, 3 apg) are the catalysts.
The additional starters are regular contributors, too.
“Senior Realyte Douglas is an undersized post player who busts her butt every time she’s on the floor (averaging 6.5 ppg, 7 rpg),” Peace said. “Junior Skylar Scott suffered a severe ankle sprain before the break and missed five games. We’re expecting more point production from her as well. Senior Jordan Faison has hit a slump shooting the ball but she, along with several of her teammates, has been putting in some extra time in the gym to try and correct a few things. We are expecting more point production from her as well.”