Sug Parker always believed there was more to Washington County than Allisha Gray.
The Lady Hawks coach would be the first to list all of Gray’s stunning contributions – the 30-plus point games and all those steals from the press, for starters – but he also knew she wasn’t the only one producing. Gray might have been the main reason for Washington County’s success, but she wasn’t the only reason.
With Gray, the Lady Hawks won the state title for the 2010-2011 season and reached the championship game for the 2011-2012 season.
But they got a tough break when Gray, a University of North Carolina signee, tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus last summer.
But even if Gray does end up missing the entire season, the Lady Hawks still could be a factor in Class AAA again, as Washington County is 13-1.
“The girls decided to become stronger as a core. Knowing Allisha was out, they had big shoes to fill,” Parker said. “It’s tough to replace an Allisha Gray. But when I look at the totality of the program, you have girls who step up and dedicate themselves to playing and being successful.”
As always with Parker, Washington County is getting it done with its press. But it has also relied on balance, with Shon Kitchens, Jasmine Knight, Tierra Murray and freshman Nia Johnson stepping up.
Parker said the Lady Hawks haven’t changed much without Gray – it’s still all about the defense – it’s just that Gray had been the driving force behind what they do.
“We had to become confident in each other,” Parker said. “They had to believe in themselves, that they could do it, that they could win when they’re playing as Washington County. They’ve banded together and they’ve shown people we can play.”