The grueling style of play requires the girls to be extremely fit, but Calhoun has put in the work necessary to get it done.
“Conditioning is huge for us,” Echols said. “Our practices are brutal. We get in there and its nonstop from the get-go. We’ll play music and we try to make it as fun as possible, but it is brutal what we ask them to do. But when we get in the third and fourth quarter the other teams are tugging on their shorts and our kids are ready to go. I think when they saw all that running and all the stuff we do is relating to us winning basketball games, it was certainly a lot easier for them to buy in at that point.”
Calhoun’s top player is junior Britiya Curtis, who averages 17 points and put up 25 against Cass. Curtis is a point guard who tries to get others involved, but is capable of scoring in bunches.
The Yellow Jackets have a pair of freshmen who start – Katherine Atha, a defensive specialist who has already drawn 25 charges and plays with tremendous energy, and Dorsey, Sa’Niah averages 12 points and has continued to improve.
The other starters are junior Lauren Watson, the team’s 3-point specialist, and post Dora Moore. Another freshman, Allie Duke, also plays the post and has earned more time.
“The attitude and the energy of this group is just fun to be around,” Echols said. “And they’re fun and they practice hard. Like I said, practices can be brutal, but they have a smile on their faces and go at it. I think it’s rubbed off on me and our other coaches. It’s just been a fun season.”
In addition to Cass, the Yellow Jackets have difficult region foes in Hiram and Blessed Trinity. They still have two games remaining against BT and must play at Hiram; Calhoun beat Hiram 47-46 in the first meeting on Jan. 11.