After two straight trips to the state semifinals, Digital Harbor junior A’Lexus Harrison wants more.The Lady Rams have come up just short of reaching the state finals the past two seasons. Harrison said there’s only one goal on her mind this season, and that’s to get a step further and ultimately capture the state championship.
“Since I’ve been here that was the second time making it to the semifinals and not making it through,” Harrison said. “So now as I get older, it’s like I have to do it sooner or later. I feel like this year is the year.”
Harrison is at the heart of a Digital Harbor team that plays uptempo on offense and tenaciously on defense. Harrison committed to the University of Maryland as a sophomore and is regarded as one of the best players in the state.
“Just her athleticism, Maryland would not have recruited her to the ACC if they didn’t think she was a fit for what they want to do,” Digital Harbor coach Patrick McDonald said.
While Harrison commands a ton of attention from opposing defenses, point guard Jaida Scarborough does a good job dictating the high-octane tempo of the offense. Scarborough’s quick, electric and shifty, and can take defenders off the dribble.
“If A’Lexus is the car then Jaida is the engine,” McDonald said. “You cannot have one without the other. She’s grown into the position. I’m very hard on point guards, much the same way coaches in football are hard on quarterbacks. It’s her responsibility, as well as the other point guards, to know everything I know about the offense and the defense.”
Basketball is in Scarborough’s blood, as her cousin Andrew Fitzgerald plays college ball at Oklahoma. Scarborough’s in her second season with Digital Harbor after transferring before her sophomore year. She’s continuing to learn the offense so the Lady Rams can continue their quest for a state title.
“I need to become more aware,” Scarborough said. “I have to know everything that’s on the floor, what everyone is doing. That’s what I really have to work on.”
McDonald said he sees many glimpses of greatness, but that at the same time his Lady Rams squad isn’t where it needs to be just yet. If Digital Harbor is going to get over the hurdle and get to the state championship this year, it will need to improve each week so it can be playing its best basketball in late February.
“The great thing that it’s a season of progression,” McDonald said. “You want to be at the peak of the mountain right around February and into March. We’re going to grow, gel together and we’re going to get better.”
by Jason Butt