Calera girls run past Jemison

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Calera's La'Taysia Cowen fights for a ball in a Jan. 21 contest with Jemsion (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Calera’s La’Taysia Cowen fights for a ball in a Jan. 21 contest with Jemsion (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

CALERA — The Calera varsity girls blazed to a big lead in the opening period and went on the blast Jemison 56-30 Jan. 21 to stay undefeated in Class 4A Area 7.

Kalen Starks and Breonna Caldwell combined for all but one of the Eagles’’ 20 first-quarter points. Starks pumped in 10 of her game-high 15 while Caldwell contributed eight as Calera built a 15-point advantage heading into the second period.

“She’s (Starks) really come around a lot,” said Calera head coach James Knowles. “She was slumping towards the middle (of the season). She was trying so hard. She’s coming off (an) injury. And I think now she’s more comfortable with what she’s doing and she’s doing a good job for us because she’s really stepped it up.”

The Eagles continued to have their way with visiting Jemison despite the effort of Laura Vinzant, who powered the Panthers’ offense with 14 points.

Calera (18-4, 5-0 in Area 7) was once again without forward A’kia Harris, who was sidelined for the 10th straight game with a strained left MCL. However, the Eagles have reeled off a 9-1 record in her absence, with their lone loss coming at the hands of No. 1-ranked and defending Class 4A state champion Oneonta.

“It took us a while to adjust (to Harris’ absence), but we’re starting to adjust a little bit,” Knowles said. “She’s starting to walk through some stuff at practice with us. She can’t do anything live or anything full speed but she’s starting to walk through stuff.”

Against Jemison, Starks paired six rebounds and three steals with her 15 points, while Caldwell recorded 12 points. Keyanna Gayden had six points and six rebounds as Tae’ McCowan contributed six points of her own in the win.

For the Panthers (9-10, 1-4), Vinzant registered her 14 points as Jessica Paschal had six.