‘Charlie’s Angels’ led the way for CHHS

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Sports Writer

For the last seven years Kelly Miller, Jeanean Deveridge and Clarissa Parker have spent several hours together in the classroom and on the basketball court sharing different types of emotions that’s normal for any group of high school students.

Like most teenagers, Miller, Deveridge and Parker have spent time lots of time over the seven years doing all sorts of fun activities many times while sharing laughter and joy.

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However, the true character of these three Charles Henderson Lady Trojan senior basketball players were on display Saturday night through a time of disappointment and heartbreak following a 43-30 loss to the number five ranked Booker T. Washington Lady Eagles at the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A Girls Southeast Regional Final at Trojan Arena on the Troy State University campus.

One of the keys to the loss was the Lady Eagles ability to contain "Charlie’s Angels" as Miller, Deveridge and Parker combined for just 22 points in the contest as the Lady Trojans turned the ball over 29 times. Despite outrebounding the Lady Eagles 49-23, the turnovers were too much for CHHS to overcome.

However, Saturday’s loss doesn’t diminish what these three girls have accomplished throughout their high school careers helping CHHS become a well established girls basketball program while the boys have held the spotlight at the same time since the arrival of Carl Hollis in the 1995-96 season.

Over the last three years under new head coach Dyneshia Bankston Jones, Miller, Deveridge and Parker helped the Lady Trojans win three consecutive area championships while making the regionals from 1999-2001. This season, the Lady Trojans finally broke through in the regional semifinals after suffering tough setbacks to Eufaula and Lady Eagles over the last two years. The success followed a dismal freshman year for the trio which saw CHHS win only four games in 1998.

Miller said she credits Jones’s coaching for the tremendous turnaround of the Lady Trojans.

"I think it’s a credit to the coach because she came in and turned it around," Miller said. "We’re proud of our area titles, but we wanted to go further. But the program was nothing when she got it."

With all three girls having played together since the seventh grade, Parker said having Jones in charge gave the Lady Trojans a taste of success they didn’t have since reaching the Final Four in 1989.

"Since Coach Jones came in our sophomore year, she was the coach that guided the way for us," Parker said. "For us to get to three Southeast Regionals in a row and beating Andalusia for the first time since 1996 and Eufaula (53-51) on their home court for the area title with them being ranked was a tremendous uplift for us."

Deveridge said she hopes the success over the last three years will

pave the way for younger girls to help continue to build the program under Jones’s leadership.

"I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot," Deveridge said. "Winning three area titles in a row and getting here gives us something to be proud of. I think CHHS will start to get more recognition in girls basketball. I feel we’ll get just as much respect as any other sport now."

However, it is the special bond the girls have established over the years

off the court which will be missed when Miller, Deveridge and Parker graduate this spring. Parker said she will miss being together with her two fellow classmates.

"We’re going to miss our friendship," Parker said. "On the court, we work with each other very well and pass it to one another. Off the court, we say high to each other. When one hurts, we all hurt. "

Deveridge said she’s also noticed how strong their friendship has been over the years which makes Saturday’s loss hurt that much worse.

"It hurts really bad because it was the biggest game we’ve ever had," Deveridge said. "Losing Clarissa and Kelly are like losing my sisters. We’re best friends and we know each other on and off the court. We know what each other is always thinking."

Jones, who came in the same year when all three girls began starting as 10th graders, said coaching Miller, Deveridge and Parker has been a special experience over the last three years.

"It means a lot to me," Jones said. "They are great listeners and have a very positive attitude. If one didn’t do good, the others always did. I’m going to miss everything about them from trash talking to hustling."

As far as their futures on the college level are concerned, Miller said she will decide later this spring whatever it will be basketball or fast pitch softball that will spur her to a college scholarship. On the other hand, Parker and Deveridge are undecided about their potential careers in collegiate athletics.

While different players will be wearing the orange and blue for CHHS next year as the trio moves on to the next level, the relationships Miller, Deveridge and Parker have built over the years is something no loss on the basketball court can replace.