Grovetown's Wells out to make impact after injuries

Grovetown's Ebony Wells scored 25 points Friday after missing last year with knee injuries.

A year ago, Ebony Wells' jobs consisted of getting water for her teammates, sweeping the floor and keeping statistics.

Now, someone else will have to pencil in the stat sheet with Wells' numbers.

Wells has battled back from missing Grovetown's 2009-10 season -- its first -- with a torn ACL and torn meniscus.

"The hardest part is knowing you can help but not being able to," Wells said. "It's been a long time."

First, she partially tore the ACL back in March 2009. By late that summer, she tore it "all the way" and also tore her meniscus.

During all the setbacks, Wells' rehab first saw her go through a two-month stretch of using crutches. Eventually it came time to work out the limp she had while running. Finally, it was about getting back lateral movement, which she said was the hardest part.

The 6-foot-3 Wells returned last Friday, and the senior scored 25 points and recorded 13 rebounds in the team's season-opening win against Lakeside. But the post player was still critical of her play, calling her start horrible in regards to missing her first few layups.

The 1-0 start means the second-year program has a winning record for the first time. The Warriors started last season 0-3 and were 3-8 before finishing 10-16.

Coach Jaime Echols said though it was a quality win against Lakeside, there's still a lot of things to work on, particularly on anticipation, if Grovetown is to improve on its 10-10 region record. But at the same time, since the players have AAU experience, he said they are fundamentally solid.

As for Wells, Echols said the post player held her own against Dutch Fork center Alaina Coates during a recent scrimmage. Echols estimates Wells nearly posted a double-double despite often being lined up against Coates in a physical matchup during the GA/Lina Hoops Preview on Nov. 13.

Coates, a sophomore listed at 6-foot-4, is one of the most highly touted players in her class and position.

"She went up against one of the best post players in the Southeast," Echols said. "We may not see a better post player in months."

But Wells and Grovetown will be without the graduated Chadé Martin, who signed with Kennesaw State to play volleyball.

Echols might not have had the chance to suit up both players in Grovetown jerseys, but he sees potential in freshman guard Malia Kency.

He thinks highly of Kency's basketball IQ and added she "plays like a guy."

Kency said while there is pressure to keep the young program strong and also lead the team since she's a point guard, she said she has a good post player to help earn victories.

Wells, who has played with the Georgia Pistols in AAU, hasn't decided where she will go to college, but she listed Clemson, Florida State, Indiana, North Carolina and Xavier as schools she is most interested in. She had earlier committed to Georgia Tech before re-opening her college search.

Wells said she and the team are more focused and serious this year than before.

It seems she is taking those same traits when it comes to deciding where she'll get to continue her basketball and academic career.

"I still don't even know -- it ain't all peaches and cream," she quipped.

Five other girls players to watch

JAMIE FOREMAN, Silver Bluff

Senior G/F, 5-10

ALLISHA GRAY, Washington Co.

Sophomore G, 5-10

MYKALA JONES, Laney

Senior G, 5-5

KAYLA WEST, North Augusta

Senior G, 5-6

ASHLEY WATTS, Butler

Senior G, 5-5

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