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Lady Dukes start season 2-0

Cumberland County High School’s shorthanded varsity girls basketball team made the most of the first week of its 2021 season, defeating host Franklin High School Monday, Jan. 4, and topping visiting Altavista High School Wednesday, Jan. 6.

The Lady Broncos trailed only 25-15 to Cumberland at halftime on Monday, but the Lady Dukes went on to outscore their hosts 34-2 in the second half for a 59-17 season-opening victory.

Cumberland Head Coach John Trent was pleased with his team’s performance, particularly since the squad only had five players.

“I felt pretty good about it, but there’s some things we’ve still got to work on — passing, stop turning the ball over as much — and I think we’ll be fine,” he said.

Taking the court for the Lady Dukes were senior Janaia Trent and sophomores Kaliyah Braxton, Nalonda Henderson, Taylor Hughes and Allie Hurt.

“We’re hoping to recruit some more,” Trent said Wednesday, noting sophomore Cheyenne Crenshaw was in the process of joining the team.

Starring for Cumberland on Monday was Henderson, who scored 34 points and handed out five assists. Janaia Trent contributed 19 points and seven assists, while Hughes grabbed five rebounds.

Trent pointed out Franklin entered the game with only a week of practice and that a rematch later in the season would be a greater challenge for his team.

But additionally, he praised the play of Henderson and Janaia Trent.

“They locked down, and they started working good together in the second half for it to be the first game of the year,” he said.

He also highlighted Hurt’s performance.

“She did very well, and the lady she was playing against, she was kind of taller than her, but she kept the lady from scoring, so I’d like to credit Allie Hurt for great defense too,” Trent said.

On Wednesday, the Lady Dukes defeated visiting Altavista 45-31.

Janaia Trent and Henderson shined again, with Henderson scoring 25 points and grabbing three rebounds, while Trent finished with 12 points, eight boards and five assists. Braxton collected a team-high nine rebounds.

“We’ve got a young basketball team, and we are pushing hard to do the best we can with the numbers we have,” Coach Trent said.

Cumberland (2-0) is set to visit Amelia County High School Friday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m.