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Young Lady Cavs have room, and ability, to grow

On one hand, Lakeland girls basketball coach Johnetta Vaughn knows she has a young team.

It’s a Lady Cavalier team that she, &uot;knows can be competitive, but it’s going to take some work.&uot;

On the other hand, the Lady Cavaliers have a talented nucleus of four returning players coming back from last year’s varsity team.

Those four players, LeCetra Arrington, Terika Lunsford, Kaylyn Chatman and Delisha Whitehead, are stepping into the leadership role, but they all saw major playing time last season.

Five seniors, including all-district selection Natarsha Whitworth and current varsity player at Elizabeth City State, Sharde Brown, graduated from the 2005-06 team; so that means Lakeland’s returning players should be ready for the chances to show they are ready.

Of the four returning players, three started regularly and all four started at some point and played important parts.

Arrington and Chatman will handle most of the guard play and ball-handling while Lunsford and Whitehead are both versatile forwards who can play in the post or handle the ball just fine on the perimeter or in transition.

&uot;Everyone has a positive attitude and has been working really hard,&uot; said Lunsford about the first couple weeks of practice.

&uot;There’s good chemistry and everyone gets along really well.

We have better chemistry than last year,&uot; said Lunsford.

On Monday night at home against Franklin, the Lady Cavaliers had their first of two scrimmages of the preseason.

Lakeland hosts Norcom Thursday night in a scrimmage before getting the season underway on Tuesday at Wilson.

Lunsford, Whitehead and Tierra Armstrong were the leading scorers Monday evening, but Lunsford said to expect many talented players, including those coming up from JV, to show what they are capable of.

&uot;We’re pretty good on defense, but there’s room for improvement, on offense and defense.

We have a lot of scorers, a lot of aggressive players and a lot of talent, from the returning players and the new players.

&uot;The coaches are working really hard with us and making sure we are doing the best we can,&uot; said Lunsford.

&uot;Our claim to fame is going to be defense and hustle,&uot; said Vaughn.

On Monday evening, Franklin had the bigger team inside, but Lakeland held their own by forcing, and then hustling for, loose balls and by challenging nearly every Franklin shot.

&uot;I want to go all the way this year.

I think we all do,&uot; said Lunsford.

&uot;But I’ve got a lot of stepping up to do myself.&uot;

&uot;We have a young team, so that means there’s room to grow,&uot; said Vaughn.

&uot;Keep looking for us,&uot; said Vaughn, &uot;I think we might surprise people.&uot;