Lady Dawgs Basketball celebrates with banquet
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Lady Dawgs Basketball Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity teams celebrated the end of their 2021-2022 season with a dinner and awards ceremony at their annual banquet Monday evening at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.
The coaches for each of the teams reflected on their season and presented awards for academic performance as well as for individual player performance.
For Head Coach Tiffney Barnes-Graham, this season marked her third year at Copperas Cove High School but her first full official season, with play time.
The Lady Dawg Varsity team finished their 2021-2022 season with an overall record of 16-16, and they were 5-9 in District.
“This year was very challenging because of the previous two years,” Barnes-Graham said. “Coming into a program that you’re new coming into, trying to put your stamp on it and trying to help these girls adjust to the new coach has been a challenge because we haven’t had a full year. This has been our first full year. I think towards the end of our season that’s when it started to click, so I’m really, really excited about next year. I really see my stamp on these kids, and like I said before, this is just a wonderful group of kids.”
Barnes-Graham said that the beginning of the pre-season and beginning of district, the team was figuring out what its signature was.
“Are we a defensive team? Are we a run and go team?” Barnes-Graham said. “Towards the end of the season, that’s where we found out what type of team that we are, so you’ll see a lot more consistency in the future.”
For the Freshmen team, the academic awards for maintaining A-Honor Roll throughout the entire basketball season went to: Jada Alexander, Zariya Dikibo, Leela Fitzpatrick, Indira Goering, Faith Grier, Daisy Hernandez, Navaeh Holt, Amaiyah Jett, Kayla Jones, Destiny Meza, Madison McPhail, Maniyah Roberts, Gabriela Weary and Elena Almanza.
The award for Freshman Offensive Player of the Year went to Madison McPhail. The award for Freshman Defense Player of the Year went to Zariya Dikibo. The award for Freshman Most Improved went to Faith Grier. The awards for Freshman MVP went to both Amaiyah Jett and Zariya Dikibo.
The Lady Dawgs Freshman team ended the season with an overall 15-8 and 9-4 in district for 3rd place.
For Junior Varsity, the academic awards for maintaining an A-Honor Roll throughout the entire season went to Lean Sanchez, Emma Sheon, Ayaliyah Lamont, Destiny Matthews and Analysa Rodriguez.
The award for JV Offensive Player of the Year went to Ayaliyah Lamont. The award for JV Defensive Player of the Year went to Selayna Peyton. The award for JV Most Improved went to Emma Sheon. The award for JV MVP went to Lean Sanchez.
The Lady Dawgs Junior Varsity team finished the season with an overall 13-12 and were 7-5 in District.
When it came time to announce the awards for the Varsity Team, Barnes-Graham sang the praises of her team.
“You guys made me who I am today, and there will never be another group of kids like this group ever,” Barnes-Graham said. “You guys are funny when it needs to be funny. Whenever I needed a laugh, you guys knew when to make me laugh. Whenever it was time to be serious, you knew when it was time to be serious.”
On the Varsity team, the academic awards for maintaining an A-Honor Roll throughout the entire season went to Danielle McGriff, Ta’Shayla Marrie, Leila Cooks, Khia Horton, Iliana Buitron, Chloe Tuiasosopo and Vivyan Carr.
For the District 12-6A Awards, which were selected by coaches in the district, the award for 1st Team All District went to Yvonna Drayton. The award for 2nd Team All District went to Jordan McGhee and Samaria Bostick. Players Elianah Eady-Smith, Ta’Shayla Marrie and Danielle McGriff received Honorable Mention.
The awards for Varsity Defense Player of the Year went to Jordan McGhee. The award for Varsity Offensive Player of the Year went to Samaria Bostick. The award for Varsity Most Improved went to Taylor Wilson. The award for MVP went to Vivyan Carr. Chloe Tuiasosopo received the Lady Dawg Award. The award for Most Points went to Samaria Bostick, with 297 points.
The award for Most Rebounds went to Yvonna Drayton, with 186. Danielle McGriff took home the award for Most Assists, with 49. Jordan McGhee also took home the award for Highest Free Throw Percentage, with a percentage of 68 percent. Ta’Shayla Marrie earned the award for Most Steals with 69. The 6-Man Award went to Elianah Eady-Smith. The award for Highest GPA went to Jordan McGhee.
The players who earned awards for Most Points, Rebounds, Assists, Free Throw Percentage and Steals each had their names engraved on a plaque that will hang on the wall at Copperas Cove High School.
“These awards are special because these are girls that made it to the wall,” Barnes-Graham said. “Their names are engraved into this plaque, so they made a statement here in Copperas Cove, Texas, and they will always be on our wall.”