No. 1 McEachern Ready To Hit Court After Layoff

The McEachern (GA) Lady Indians (6-0) sit at No.1 in the Max Preps Xcellent 25. McEachern is averaging 78 points-per-game while allowing only 53 points-per-game. Tennessee commit Te’a Cooper leads the team in scoring (32.ppg) and assists (9.0ppg) while shooting 46% from the field. Junior guard Jada Lewis is averaging 15.8 points.

The Lady Indians will play the rest of the season without senior forward Caliya Robinson who is out with a knee injury. In four games this season Robinson averaged 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.3 blocks. Robinson posted a triple-double with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 12 blocks in a 73-33 victory over Forest Park earlier this season.

McEachern has not played since a 65-58 win over region opponent North Cobb on December 16th. Cooper finished with 30 points, 6 assist and 3 steals while Lewis scored put in 14 points.

“I feel real good about our progress, but now we need someone else to step up with Caliya out,” McEachern head coach Phyllis Arthur said about its 6-0 start. Arthur confirmed that Robinson is out for the season with a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in her left knee when she slipped on water on the floor in a victory over region and crosstown rival Hillgrove.

“My challenge to them was I need a Sam Jackson. Who will be our Sam Jackson,” Arthur stated. Jackson was third on the depth chart at running back entering the season but filled in for the injured Taj Griffin on the McEachern football team which advanced to the Georgia semifinals this year. Jackson rushed for over 800 yards and eight touchdowns when thrusted into the spotlight.

When the Lady Indians take the floor again it will be 13 days since their last game. With a trip to Texas next, Arthur has challenged her team during the long layoff.

“We’ve ran a mile each day after practice and we’ve scrimmage very hard to stay in game shape, hopefully we’ll be ready”, Arthur said.

McEachern returns to action December 29th in the 64th annual Sandra Meadows Classic in Duncanville, TX. McEachern will be the highest and only nationally-ranked team in the 32-team tournament. They will open the tournament against Denton Ryan (TX) Monday Dec. 29th with a tip time of 10am et/9am ct. The tournament will offer a unique twist as teams will play two games on the second and third days (Tuesday and Wednesday). All teams are assured of at least four games.

“In AAU ball they play two sometimes three games a day so they had better be use to it. This is a big tournament for us,” Arthur said about chance of playing two games in one day multiple time.

Other teams in the field include host Duncanville (TX), Briarcrest Christian (TN), Ft. Bend Hightower (TX), Girls & Boys Preparatory School (TX), Incarnate Word (TX), Largo (MD), McKinney Boyd (TX), Plano (TX), Trimble Tech (TX), and Trinity (TX)-all minus Duncanville will be playing in the tournament for the first time as will McEachern. Pickerington High School out of Ontario, Canada is the only non-United States team in the field.

Arthur is known for playing a national schedule during her tenure at McEachern. Previously McEachern played in the Rose Classic in Brooklyn, New York the previous two seasons but opted to go to Texas this year instead.

“This is a big tournament for us. We’ve played a national schedule since I’ve been here. We’ve played up north, we wanted to go play out west this time,” Arthur said about the opportunity to play in the Sandra Meadows Classic.

McEachern has won two of the last three state championships in Georgia’s highest classification and are the heavy favorites again this year. Follow Total Sports Coverage on Twitter @tsportscoverage for game updates of the nation’s No.1 girls high school basketball team all next week.

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