First Posted: 3/4/2010
ROWLAND Its been a long time since the South Robeson girls team was a relevant player in high school basketball
But after a trip to the second round of the playoffs last season, the Mustangs are traveling into uncharted waters with a regional semifinal game this Friday.
One player that has been a catalyst in changing perceptions of the Mustangs is junior guard Krista Davis.
Davis is the teams second leading scorer at almost 12 points a game, and is thrilled to see the changes the squad has made on the way to being a contender.
It means everything because South Robeson hasnt been anywhere since the 80s, Davis said. For us to do this now is just amazing and overwhelming to all of us.
After what she described as a rocky freshman year, Davis looks at her sophomore season as a turning point for the program, setting goals such as beating Red Springs and making the state playoffs.
Before advancing to the regional semifinals, South Robeson went perfect in conference play during the regular season and then won the conference championship.
Everyone was so happy to be a part it, Davis said. Everybody who counts on us, our fans, they were excited as well, so to be a part of that was really special to us.
Davis is not the only one that has seen the changes in South Robeson this season. Coach Lula Ratley has seen Davis progress and feels she has kept improving as a player since the first time she saw her.
She has really grown since freshman year, Ratley said. This is her third season on varsity. She works very hard, is conscientious of her skills, and I tell you she is a very all-around player, and her jump shot has beautiful form.
Ratley likens Davis to teammate Nicorie Sinclair as being a leader on the floor, always picking up her teammates with encouraging words.
Most of all though, Ratley is proud of each one of her girls, including Davis, for coming together to do something very special, whether the Mustangs win Friday in Greenville or not.
When she first came to me, we were in the gym, and she said, Coach I see a championship,” Ratley said. “And she spoke it, and she was a visionary and has done well.
A state championship would mean a lot to the junior Davis, who would like to go to either N.C. State or the University of Virginia to study computer engineering. After the team set their sights on winning the conference championship, the feeling is that everything from here on out is one big bonus.
We won the regular season title, and we won the conference title, and that was what Coach Ratley wanted most, Davis said. We wanted to keep going, though, but if we dont win, we dont have anything to hang our heads about.
She did have one last message for those who expressed skepticism about the Mustangs chances going into this season.
People that have been doubting South Robeson, let me just go ahead and tell you now: this is just the beginning for us,” she said. “Were not finished. Hopefully we can win the state championship and say I told you so.