The Central Girls’ Basketball Team is Looking Up

THE LADY POUNDERS LOOK TO MAKE PROGRESS -- Junior Alexis Kennedy shoots a free throw against Boyd Buchanan.

Karleigh Schwarzl

THE LADY POUNDERS LOOK TO MAKE PROGRESS — Junior Alexis Kennedy shoots a free throw against Boyd Buchanan.

Karleigh Schwarzl, Sports Editor

The girls basketball team has had a rough start to their season. Connecting as a team has been a challenge, especially as COVID-19 rages on. The team’s already limited time together was cut short again when the season was put on hold just before the winter break; not even practices were allowed.

The Lady Pounders’ return to practice was only days before their first match of the new year, so the girls did not have an adequate time frame to prepare for their return. The season’s pause also caused a large amount of rescheduling, as many matches were missed over the course of the break.

“We didn’t have much time to adjust once the season started back because there wasn’t a lot of time before the clearance date. [But] the team has improved even despite the time off for COVID[-19],” Coach Sandrea Sylman stated.

On Tuesday, January 12, the girls’ connection started to ignite as they played against East Ridge on their home court. The team showed strength despite the drought of activity over the past weeks, but this strength was not enough; the Lady Pounders fell to the Lady Pioneers. The final score was 38-45. Later that week on Thursday, January 14, the girls faced against Howard High School, but they fell short once again.

“As a whole, I believe we have a lot to work on, but it’s coming together. Our team is young; we have no seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, and the rest of our team are freshman. Each and every day we are growing and getting better for our games now and for what is ahead,” shared Junior Alexis Kennedy.

As the season charged on, the team faced off against the Tyner Rams on Tuesday, January 19. The team faced many offensive struggles over the course of the match. This, along with their growing connection, led to a rough defeat against the Rams. Central were only able to put up 18 points to Tyner’s 67.

Later that week, the Lady Pounders returned home to battle Hixson on Thursday, January 21. The girls did not back down despite their young team. Even with their determination, the Lady Pounders were unable to pull out a win against the Lady Wildcats; the final score was 22-49.

The following night, Central played against Signal Mountain. The Lady Pounders looked to improve upon their offensive struggles, but they could not find their rhythm against the skilled Lady Eagles. Central lost to Signal Mountain, 3-48.

The games that have been played since the season’s pause have looked different, as more COVID-19 restrictions have been put into place.

“The only spectators in the gym are family members that live in the same house as the athlete, first responders, school faculty, TSSAA representatives, and members of the team. Each coach is responsible to generate a list of approved spectators. If someone attempts to attend one of the competitions and they are not on the list, they will not be admitted into the gym. All spectators must have a mask on, all the time. For Central High School, there is no food or drink allowed in the gym, and there will be no concessions sold,” said Athletic Director Steve Lewis.

To start off the next week of play, the team were anticipating to face East Ridge once again, but due to exposure to COVID-19, the team has been forced to quarantined. An updated schedule will be posted for Digest viewers as soon as it is released.

Readers can view the latest sports updates on the sports center page. This is where schedules, scores, and rosters will be posted. The Digest will continue to bring the latest coverage and updates as the 2020 season progresses.