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CCHS girls overwhelm DeKalb County

Feb. 2—Defense has been and always will be the cornerstone of the Cumberland County High School girls basketball program. Coach Kim Cram-Torres believes a solid defense leads to success in other parts of the game.

And her point was brought to light Tuesday when CCHS held DeKalb County scoreless in the third period, and rolled to a surprisingly easy 43-24 victory in Crossville.

"I didn't like our defense in the first quarter," said Cram-Torres. "I didn't think we came out ready play. So we challenged the girls with the fact that we can't have a slow start. That never works for us.

"But the third quarter was huge for us. I think it was 14-0. That was huge. That was the difference in the game. We can't have slow starts, and they fixed that in the third quarter."

The win improves Cumberland County to 16-5 overall ands 4-2 in Class 3A, District 7 action. DeKalb County falls to 8-13 and 0-6 in league play.

"The second quarter was a little better for us," said Cram-Torres.

"We created a little separation. But at halftime, we talked about slow starts, carelessness. We didn't think we competed hard enough."

The Lady Jets made up for it in the third period. Cumberland County opened with eight straight points on a 3-pointer from Sydney Wilhite, and a layup and long-range bomb from Aliyah Hawkins to make it 29-17 with 5:34 to go in the period.

While they were shutting out DeKalb County, and top scorers Ella and Chloe Vonvraken, they continued score.

Lauren Clark got a putback, Jaylynn Baldwin scored on a power move to the basket and Wilhite wrapped up the scoring with a runner in the lane to make it 35-17 heading into the fourth period.

Wilhite led Cumberland County in scoring with 14 points. Hawkins tallied 12 points, while Clark and Baldwin had 7 points each. Daminica Beal chipped in with 3.

Ella Vonvraken led DeKalb County with 13 points. Avery Agee scored 6.

"We're still needing more from Jalynn," Cram-Torres said. "I think we need more production from our role players; however, I didn't think we shot the ball particularly well today.

"Tonight, I think Sydney worked really hard and drew a lot of attention. But, she seems to always find a way to step up and make plays. And I thought Lauren did a good job of creating matchup issues for DeKalb.

"We talked a lot about getting easy baskets, letting our defense lead into our offense. But you can't do that if you don't come out competing in the first quarter."

For Cumberland County, it closes out the regular season Feb. 2 with White County at home.

Then the Lady Jets visit Stone Memorial on Feb. 5 and Upperman Feb. 8. They will then host Upperman in the season finale on Feb. 10.

"The hardest part of our schedule is coming up," Cram-Torres said. "We need to make sure we're practicing the right way, and we're getting off to great starts."