It had been 1,725 days since Station Camp head coach Kendra Jackson had been on the hardwood for the Lady Bison basketball program.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the coach returned in a significant way for Station Camp.
Jackson resigned in April of 2016 due to a required stem cell transplant. She was announced as the new Lady Bison head coach last week, and led her team to an 87-58 victory over Kenwood High School.
“I was definitely a little emotional today,” Jackson said. “It was a great feeling. I just wasn’t sure if I would ever be the high school coach again. I was really letting God lead me in that. It was emotional today, but I’m glad to get that one out of the way and move on to the next one.”
Despite only having eight days of practice since Jackson’s hiring, Station Camp’s defense was in full swing throughout the evening. Through a newly implemented full-court press, the Lady Bison forced 32 turnovers during the game.
Kenwood coughed up the ball 16 times in the first quarter alone. Station Camp’s fast-paced, transition play allowed Marisa Wirtz to outscore the Lady Knights by herself in the first frame, 13-11. Wirtz led all scorers, and poured in 45 points on the Lady Knights.
“I think Marisa is very talented,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to keep her out of foul trouble. I thought she did a great job in the second half of playing with three fouls, staying on the floor and understanding that it’s important for her to be on the floor.”
The Lady Bison held a closer second quarter with Kenwood, but pulled away before halftime to extend their lead. Station Camp came out of the break with a 15-5 run and never looked back.
“I like our team, as a whole,” Jackson said. “I think we’re very athletic, I think they’re a good group of girls. I think they play hard and I’m really excited about it.”
Tuesday’s contest was also the first for Kenwood head coach Shameca Gardner. Gardner aims to introduce a new trend into the Lady Knights’ program as they attempt to bounce back from a 5-20 campaign a season ago.
“We took a (loss) tonight and that’s good,” she said. “We’re going to build on that. I want to win, but I want to make sure (the players) have character in losing. So -- when we do lose -- we lose with a great attitude. When we win, we have a great attitude. That’s what I’m taking from each game…I don’t want to lose.”
Station Camp will welcome Rossview on Friday, Nov. 20. The Lady Knights play their next game on Nov. 28 at Clarksville Academy.
Station Camp (87): Marisa Wirtz 45, Arielle Everett 16, Ann Richards 9, Reagan Morris 7, Cami Klein 6, Katelyn Preston 2, Riley Rose 2
Kenwood (58): Dante’sha Brandt 17, Iyanna Curtis 14, Tamaria Arnold 6, Shaleyia Townsend 6, Chamyra Teasley 5, Amaya Holmes 4, Wisdom Trotter 4, Shay Vaughn 2