ABOVE THE REST: Charles Henderson High School freshman Maori Davenport standing out on team
Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 10, 2015
The 9-1 Charles Henderson Lady Trojans having been catching the eyes of many of their opponents in the early going of the season and why shouldn’t they. With the play of Mercer commit India Blakely and Niaira Jones the Trojans have been outstanding, but the player really turning heads is freshman Maori Davenport.
In the season’s first 10 games the young standout player has averaged a double-double each game and has been a force inside the paint for the Trojans.
“I have been having a lot of fun. It’s been really good,” said the freshman. “I think I am doing better than I did last year. I think I am in better control this year. I have been in the weight room working really hard this year.”
Davenport began her second season playing with the varsity team by picking up 14 points in a season opening win over Geneva County 54-40.
Davenport’s success continued to grow from there. During a competitive and hard fought tournament in Hoover, Davenport finished with 10 points in the opening round game against Central Tuscaloosa and turned in another double-double performance with 12 points and 18 rebounds in a win against Montevallo.
In the consolation game, Davenport finished with a triple-double by posting 17 points, 18 rebounds and an incredible 16 blocked shots in a win over Bob Jones.
“It is special, I have never seen that before,” Trojans head coach Dyneshia Jones said. “Other schools have probably seen it, but since I have been coaching I have never seen it.”
Davenport credits the coaching and encouragement from Jones.
“We are doing so well right now because she stays on us,” Davenport said. “She doesn’t let us rest or anything.”
Davenport is only a freshman and her development as a basketball player depends on the amount of work she puts in both on the court and off.
“She is good for the level she is at right now,” Jones said. “If she is playing the same as she is right now when she gets to the 12th grade, then we are going to have problems. On a scale of one to 10 on how she is playing right now she is a 12.”
In the most recent game for Charles Henderson, Davenport and the Trojans went up against Jeff Davis a team that made it all the way to the Class 7A state championships a season ago. They faced Florida State commit Jasmine Walker, who put up a game high 24 points, despite the Trojans’ 61-44 win. Davenport finished the game with 16 points.
“It was really competitive, Davenport said.
“She is going to Florida State so she has to be really good. It was a really big deal for us to beat them this year. It has been a struggle to beat them over the years”
Davenport has high expectations for the next four years. She wants to play basketball at the next level, but she also realizes that she has a lot of work to do.
“I have a lot of work to do,” she said.