Lady 'Cats face busy summer

Take a whole campaign’s worth of games, cram them into a few weeks, and the Lady Wildcat hoopsters are keeping very busy for the summer.

“We want them to play a full season of games in the month of June if possible,” Camden County High head coach Keith Ellis said of the packed schedule. “This is just a good simulation of what the season is like.”

High on the coach’s priority list is identifying a new point guard to transition from the steady hand of Khaila McMorris, a Coastal Georgia signee. Also up there is boosting cohesiveness, toughness and durability as a resetting CCHS — after winning 19 games and reaching the state Class AAAAA tournament last year — was reshuffled to the hard-nosed Region 1-AAAAAAA with Lowndes, Tift and Colquitt.

“The girls game has gotten a lot more physical the last few years, so we need that strength,” he said.

In a summer of preparation and re-evaluation, Ellis estimates as many as 30 games — varsity and junior varsity — over the next several weeks. 

Following youth clinics this week at the school, the Lady Wildcats will play three games Saturday in Savannah, welcome several teams for scrimmages June 1 and June 8, visit Edward Waters College June 3-5, and dribble in a UNF camp June 11-12. The Lady Wildcats could play six games and perhaps more in each of the last four scheduled camps or home playdays.

Instead of heading to Armstrong State for more offseason work as they’ve done before, the Lady ’Cats will spend June 23-25 at Georgia College in Milledgeville. The competition should be strong with metro Atlanta and middle Georgia programs. 

“We’ll get to see some teams that we don’t see that often, and possibly some teams that could be state opponents,” Ellis said. 

While Camden has plenty of talent returning and a promising corps of young players coming through the ranks, “you can’t go by what’s on paper,” he said. “We have to use this summer to build some team chemistry … the main thing is to get the numbers in here.”

Reclassification has shriveled the Lady Wildcats’ conference contests from 13 previously in Region 3-AAAAA to six. Reducing the number of league games has added even more value to them, and Ellis knows one bad performance could be the difference between a state bid and an early end.

Every night, “you’re going to have to come to play,” he said.

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