The Stephens County Lady Indians knocked off region leader East Jackson 45-28 here last Saturday and celebrated an individual milestone en route to the victory.
The Lady Indians already had something big to celebrate before the final buzzer of the victory as late in the fourth quarter, senior Lady Indian Nana Eades was just two points shy of scoring her 1,000th career point. Eades’ big moment came when she was fouled.
She went to the line and swished her 999th career point. On the second attempt she scored point number 1,000 which led to an impromptu celebration on the court. The SCHS bench rushed onto the court hugging Eades and congratulated her on reaching the 1,000-point milestone. SCHS head coach Laura Baker went to the referee and got the ball to present it to Eades. Baker, along with Eades, went in front of the SCHS crowd while the announcement was made as they waved and posed for their fans.
“I was just thinking that I had to make it in order to score and I really wanted to score at home for my fans and family to see,” Eades said of her two record-making foul shots. “It felt great. I was a little scared,” she said.
Eades has proven that she is not only a scorer, but is one the state’s leaders in assists. According to MaxPreps, Eades is in the top 10 assists leaders in all classifications sitting at No. 8. Eades averages 5.4 assists a game. Baker said she was also glad Eades was able to do it in front of the home crowd.
“I am very proud,” Baker said. “I am honored to be her coach and I was hoping she was able to do it here at home in front of the home crowd.”
Along with Eades’ individual accomplishment, the Lady Indians impressed their fans with a big win after having an 11-day hiatus without playing a game because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You know East Jackson was on top of the region,” Baker said. “They have beaten everybody. They had not played us yet. So I knew it was going to be an important game. I told the players before the game we just have to focus. It has been 11 days since we played, so we got to focus and get this one because it was a big one."
Preparing for the game was difficult for Baker. One of the main reasons why it was difficult was because she did not have most of her team available for practice the week prior due to players being quarantined. Baker had only four members of the team able to practice but then it decreased to three due to an injury.
“What we did was the ones I did practice with, we just shot and put in what we needed to for East Jackson and when the others got here today we went over there to briefly put it in,” Baker said. “So it was a quick fix trying to get them ready. We had three at the end of the week. One of my juniors Grace (Witherspoon) got hurt. So I had three. I had to get in there and run some drills with them. You do what you have to do in this day and age with this time period with everything being quarantined you do what you can."
Eades who is now in the 1,000-point club was the leading scorer in the victory with 17 points. Ranajah Verdell racked up 13 points for SCHS in the triumph. With the win, SCHS improved to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in region play. The Tribe is scheduled to host Hart County at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) in Toccoa.