Lady Yoe wins season opener over Rosebud-Lott

Despite shooting just 7-33 from the floor and 6-18 from the free throw line in the first half of Saturday’s season opener with Rosebud-Lott, Cameron knew they were in a prime position, trailing by just one point, 21-20.


The Lady Yoe picked up their shooting in the final two quarters and forced a total of 19 turnovers down the stretch in a 50-34 win.


“It is certainly good to start 1-0 and build confidence” said Lady Yoe coach Corey Cunningham. “I really like that we are starting out the season a lot stronger than we did last year. We are going to take this and build on it.”


Despite missing returning starters Zakara Bryson and NaQuiria Gibbons to injuries, other players with experience stepped up to play big roles.


Qua Workman (20 points, 5 rebounds), Lauryn Leftwich (20 points, 12 rebounds) and Terryn Adams (7 points, 5 rebounds) - all three returning letterman from last season’s team - accounted for 94 percent of the offense.


“It’s great to come out stronger than last year,” said Workman. “Losing Zakara and NaQuiria makes u stronger, and when they come back the team is going to be even stronger.”


The shooting percentage may not have been what the Lady Yoe would have liked, but the defense was there to pick up the slack. Cameron forced a total of 37 turnovers on the night, allowing for more shot attempts and transition points.


“I placed a renewed emphasis on defense this year,” said Cunningham. “That is what we want our identity to be, because that is going to create offense and give us transition opportunities. When our shots were just not falling at all in the first half, and by large in the second half, our defense kept us right in the game.”


The Lady Yoe traveled over to Waco to take on Connally on Monday evening. Despite still being down two starters, Cameron managed to stay competitive throughout in a 49-38 loss. Leftwich had another big game, coming in with 20 points.


It’s early, but with 4 seniors on the roster and a plethora of experience on this year’s team, there is only one goal in mind - the playoffs.


“We want to make it to the playoffs,” said Leftwich. “We want to be the first team in like 7 years to make it. We want to get a banner on the wall and be remembered.


Workman added: “I hope to get to the playoffs this year. We have to compete hard throughout the season and shoot for the playoffs.”


It will not be easy for the ladies as Cameron sits in one of the traditionally tougher districts in the region and state.


“We are in one of, if not the best district in the entire state,” said Cunningham. “Our goal right now is to make the playoffs, because if you are there anything can happen. We are going to fight, fight, fight for a spot.”


Cunningham could see the continuity growing within his team last season, and he believes that is what could take this team to the next level in 2017-2018.


“Last year’s adversity that we suffered through injuries and all of that payed off tonight,” Cunningham said. “Our girls had to come together last year and now that is paying off.”