David W. Healy
Greenville Christian School girls basketball coach Brother Sandifer has been coaching the Lady Saints for 10 years, but he only remembers one other team with the type of senior leadership he will have on this year’s squad.
“The girls have played together for a couple of years now, and they have learned how to play together,” Coach Sandifer said. “We are going to play uptempo for as we can. We have girls that can really score the ball.”
The leading scorer for the Lady Saints this season will likely once again be Williette Kingdom. Kingdom averaged 26 points a game last season and has been working hard during the offseason to improve her strength fitness.
Coach Sandifer describes Kingdom as a very fast player with a very high motor.
“She also does a really good job at finishing at the rim,” the coach said.
Along with her basketball game, Kingdom said she has also been becoming a more mature person.
“I have also been working on improving my spiritual life, and that has really helped me block everything out except for what is most important,” Kingdom said.
Along with Kingdom, senior Jordyn Claiborne is back for her senior season. Last season, Claiborne made a number of crucial three pointers to help the Lady Saints finish their regular season with a 9-1 record. Seniors Bri Palmer and A.K. Clary are also expected to show great leadership this season, Coach Sandifer said.
A number of underclassmen will also be playing pivotal minutes for GCS, including Tariyah Washington, Taylor Ellis and Ja”leah Morris.
The Lady Saints opened the season by falling 82-62 to Puckett High School last Monday night. Greenville Christian trailed Puckett, which finished last season with a 29-4 record, by only six points with three minutes remaining in the game.
Puckett, a public school, made it all the way to Jackson last year.
“We lost to a great team Monday, but we played really well,” Coach Sandifer said. “Anytime two girls basketball teams put up more than 60 points you know that it was a great game.”
“I am very blessed to be the coach of this team,” Coach Sandifer said. “I guess the Good Lord has put me her for a reason.”
Greenville Christian won their first game of the season Saturday, defeating Hillcrest 62-59. The score at half was 31 -27 in GCS ‘s favor. The game went back and forth but GCS never gave up the lead in the fourth. Williette Kingdom let GCS with 30 points while Tariyah Washington added 13 points and 12 rebounds.