SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On paper, Taliah Cashwell and Alexia Wade are a freshman and sophomore, respectively. But, when it comes to playing and contributing on the court, first-year SC coach John Testa doesn't consider them underclassmen.
"We have been working since September and these two [Cashwell and Wade] have been working hard," Testa said. "They have been in the gym non-stop since September. They have been here long enough. In practice, I can tell them both what I want and they will do it. Basically, she isn't a freshman [Cashwell] and she [Wade] isn't a sophomore."
As evidence by their play early on this season, Cashwell and Wade have both embraced the challenge by Testa with open arms.
Cashwell scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals while Wade scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds as South Charleston used a 20-1 fourth quarter to defeat visiting Riverside 61-35 Thursday night.
"I just go out on the court and try to help my team however I can," Cashwell said. "I love to win so anytime I can help us win, then I will."
As a freshman coming off the bench, Cashwell is leading SC (4-1) with a scoring average of 13.6 points. She admits that while she has enjoyed some early success, she is still learning a lot from her teammates and coach.
"The game is much faster in high school than middle school," Cashwell said. "I know I have to get stronger and learn more about the game of basketball, but my teammates and coaches have really helped me."
Some of that help has come from fellow teammate and one of the three seniors on the squad, Alliyah Webb (11 points, eight assists, and five rebounds against Riverside).