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2009-01-07 / Front Page

Cosby's triple threat

By Joey Matthews
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Lisa Billings/Chesterfield Observer Becca Wann, a member of the "triple threat" on Cosby High School's basketball team, guards her opponent during practice.
Cosby High School girls basketball coach Rachel Mead calls them her team's "triple threat." They are Cosby junior three-year starters Andrea Bertrand, Becca Wann and Jazmin Pitts.

They are a huge reason why Cosby entered the New Year unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the area, including a victory in the holiday Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament last month.

"I've had these three since they were freshmen," Mead said. "I've watched them grow and mature as leaders. They are amazing on and off the court."

As freshmen, not surprisingly, the three young ladies underwent growing pains on the court at the first-year school.

"They made a lot of mistakes," Mead said. "They will be the first to tell you that."

Wann, a 5-foot, 10-inch forward, conceded the first year was a learning experience.

"High school basketball was a lot different than middle school ball," said Wann, who attended Bailey Bridge Middle School. Bertrand and Pitts attended Swift Creek Middle School.

Lisa Billings/Chesterfield Observer Jazmin Pitts, one of Cosby High's star players, drives to the basket.
The first-year team finished 11-11 that season. They have improved each season since and have their sights squarely on bigger and better things this season.

"Of course, everybody wants to have a state championship," said Pitts, a 6-foot, 1-inch center.

To try and achieve that goal, Bertrand, a shooting guard, said, "We're just going to focus on one game at a time. We'll try and win the district and regional and get into the state playoffs, then anything can happen."

The "triple threat" girls will certainly play a big part in the outcome of that quest.

They have been key players every step of the way for Cosby.

Pitts averaged 17.5 points last season and nine rebounds. "Jazmin is so strong inside," Mead said.

Bertrand averaged 14.5 points and 5.2 rebounds. "Andrea can shoot so well and does so many other things well for us," the coach said.

Of Wann, who averaged 13.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists, Mead said, "Becca could play any position on the floor for us. She is so versatile."

Thanks in large part to their stellar seasons, Cosby won its first girls basketball Dominion District regular-season title last year with a 12-2 record and finished 20-6 overall. They were eliminated by Thomas Dale in the Central Region semifinals, one win shy of earning a berth in the Group AAA state tournament. That left them hungry for more.

"That put a fire in us to get farther," Wann said.

"Our goal is to repeat as Dominion District champions and go farther in the region and hopefully be state contenders," Mead said.

So, coach, do you think this team has the potential to win a state championship? "Yes, I do," Mead said.

She pointed to her three junior leaders as proof positive of that possibility. "They believe they can win, and they're very confident," she said.

"We know how each other plays," Bertrand said. "We know each other so well on the court."

The "triple threat" are complemented by the team's two other returning starters - sophomore point guard Kelsey Conyers and senior forward Ellen Catzman. The five players take turns playing pivotal roles for Cosby.

"It's not just one person on this team," Pitts said. "Anybody on this team can step up to make big plays for us."

Regardless of how their season ends, one thing seems certain: Cosby will enjoy it every step of the way.

"These girls are crazy," Pitts said, smiling. "We like to have fun when we're playing. We're all good friends."

"I love this team," Mead said. "They're so much fun to coach."

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