(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- Charleston senior Jerquawnda Sherrell has been a huge part of the recent successful turnaround of the Lady Bluejays basketball team since her freshman year. On Monday night, Sherrell was recognized before the varsity game against the Malden Lady Wave with an honorary basketball commemorating her 1,000-point career.
"She's had a tremendous career," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said about Sherrell. "You can't put enough stock in kids like that."
The Lady Bluejays did not let Malden ruin the celebration as they went on to rout the Lady Wave 52-20 in their first game back from the holiday break.
Charleston was a tad rusty when it came to shooting the ball but defensively looked to be in mid-season form. After taking a 31-12 lead at halftime in a 3-2 zone defense, the Lady Bluejays completely put the game out of reach by switching to the full-court press in the second half.
"We didn't really score a lot of points tonight," Minner said. "We didn't shoot the ball real well for whatever reason but we did some real good things defensively. We forced them to do some things that they didn't want to do."
Along with causing numerous turnovers with the press, Charleston hit the boards which was something that Minner wanted more of coming out of the break.
"We did a tremendous job of boxing out," said Minner. "We fought down low. We've put a big emphasis on that and I think our kids worked hard to rebound. We were making an effort every time a shot went up to get in position."
Along with Sherrell, who scored six points, Chelsie Lane is also a senior who has been with the Lady Bluejays since she was a freshman. Minner believes it has been a combination of Sherrell and Lane, who scored a game-high 12 points, that have been a big help in stepping in the right direction for the Lady Bluejays program.
"We were at rock bottom when I took over and you got to have those kids that will tough it out with you," Minner said. "We've got a number of those kids that are seniors this year.
"We've got Chelsie Lane and Jerquawnda Sherrell who've stuck beside me through the thick and thin and have always given everything to me. When you've got kids like that it makes it easier to do things the right way."
Kasuela Cooper added 11 points for Charleston while Eneikqua Ewing added seven. Adriana Reed led Malden with eight points.
Charleston will be back in action on Thursday night when they travel to Caruthersville.
MALDEN (20) -- Latrilla McCoy 2, Kyeon Stone 4, Kyadijah Barnes 4, Kiaris Rogers 2, Adriana Reed 8. FG 9 FT 1-6 F 16.
CHARLESTON (52) -- Gabrielle Quinn 1, Jerquawnda Sherrell 6, Chelsie Lane 12, Taylor Duenne 3, Kasuela Cooper 11, Jalisa Bogan 1, Lakisha Wilson 6, Jasmine Spence 5, Eneikqua Ewing 7. FG 22 FT 7-18 F 9.