ROCKINGHAM — The Rockingham Middle School girls basketball team clinched its fifth consecutive Southeastern Athletic Conference championship Thursday afternoon by defeating Spring Hill.
Allyiah Swiney’s 20 points nearly doubled Spring Hill’s total in the Lady Rocket’s 39-11 victory. Jakerra Covington was the only other scorer in double figures, as she chipped in 10 points. Jayla McDougald, Georgia Grace Anderson, Asia Douglas, Korie Dawkins and Kenleigh Frye were responsible for the remaining nine points.
With the win, Rockingham finished the season undefeated — winning all 12 of its games played.
“I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to coach such a phenomenal group of athletes,” coach Teresa Mason said. “To share this accomplishment with the team means the world to me. As far as the girls, I think they realize that all the time, effort and hard work pays off in the end.”
The Lady Rockets started their perfect year off with a 27-point win over Carver, where both Covington and Anderson grabbed 11 rebounds and recorded eight steals. Swiney was able block five shots in the season-opening victory.
During a five-game stretch in the middle of the season, Rockingham held each opponent under 10 points in the respective matchups. The team’s largest margin of victory was a 47-5 win over Rohanen, while its smallest margin was a 41-19 win over West Hoke.
Their 52-point performance at Spring Hill earlier this month was the most points the Lady Rockets scored this season.
“There wasn’t one dominant factor or player that led to our success. It was a collective effort from beginning to end,” Mason explained. “I don’t ask for perfection, just their personal best. They knew that it was going to take the entire team working together toward one common goal. As a result, we were successful.”
Each player’s personal best has brought Rockingham its fifth straight straight conference championship. Last year’s team — which featured current Richmond Senior varsity basketball players Keionna Love, Layne Maultsby and Alexis Swiney — finished 8-1 on the season after taking down Anson in the championship game.
Because “each team is different in its own unique way,” Mason says this championship is just as special as the previous four.
“As a coach, I’m always looking for ways to get better so that my players are prepared to compete at the next level — and that’s what I expect from my players.,” Mason added.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.