Waneta Carlisle remembers the feeling she and her Augusta State teammates shared a year ago when they suffered a one-point loss at the hands of Paine.
"It was a hearbreaker," she said. "Last year was a new year for all of us. It was different."
A year later, with the program moving in a new direction, Carlisle got her revenge.
The 5-foot-9 sophomore, who scored a season-high 21 in last year's loss, came off the bench Thursday night to turn in a double-double effort in the Lady Jaguars' 52-37 win at Paine.
Carlisle's 10 points and 11 rebounds, combined with an 11-point effort from senior Blaire Egardo, led the Lady Jaguars in what was more than just a victory over cross-town rival. The win lifted Augusta State to 4-1 on the season, the program's best start in four years and a drastic improvement from last season's 1-26 mark.
"I like our direction right now," first-year coach Nate Teymer said. "Everything we're doing as far as mistakes is correctable."
Augusta State's effort wasn't perfect against the winless Lady Lions. Egardo's two quick 3-pointers started an offensive surge early that produced a 16-0 lead in the game's first eight minutes, but several turnovers and a better effort from Paine turned the big lead into a 4-point margin after Baiesha Johnson hit a free throw with 3:27 left in the first half to trail 20-16.
"It was good to see us have the start like we had, because we hadn't had starts like that," Teymer said. "But just like any cross-town rivalry game, they're going to make a run and the good thing is we never let them come back and take the lead. I was very proud of our girls from that aspect."
Augusta State held onto a nine-point lead at halftime, but two buckets and an assist from Antionette McPhail brought the Lady Lions to within three 2 minutes into the second half.
That's as close as Paine got in a slow-paced game that saw a combined 43 turnovers.
"We're never satisfied," Carlisle said. "You can always look back and see where you could have scored more points or got another rebound. I felt like I could have done better, but you always take the win."
Alice Holmes scored a game-high 13 points, including a 25-footer to bring the Lady Lions to within four points with 9:47 left. But Paine, playing its home opener, managed only two points over the final eight minutes.