Monday, February 10, 2014

High-scoring Derica Wiggins leads Oakhaven

article and image from Commercial Appeal

It doesn’t take a whole lot to get Oakhaven’s Derica Wiggins going on the basketball court. And once she does, she’s pretty hard to stop.

“All it takes is that first steal or the first 3-pointer,” she said. “When I get that first steal or hit that first 3-pointer, then I know I’m going to have a good game.”

Wiggins, a 5-7 senior, has had plenty of good games for the Hawks this season. She’ll be one of the top players Sunday as FedExForum plays host to the SCIAA Fever county basketball championships.
Wiggins and Oakhaven will tip things off at noon as they battle Booker T. Washington in the girls Class A contest.

The Hawks’ hopes for a victory Sunday — as in every other contest this season — will rest on the shoulders of Wiggins. She is the top scoring player in the city — boy or girl — with an average of 33.6 points per game.

She’s been on a tear the last three weeks, with games of 41 and 47 points and a 50-point outburst in a 90-31 victory over Hillcrest on Jan. 31. Wiggins has led the Hawks to a 16-1 record and a No. 12 ranking in The Commercial Appeal’s Dandy Dozen. Their lone loss? By one point against East on Jan. 3.

“She ignites us,” said Hawks coach Frederick Thorns. “She’s the key to our press and just brings so much leadership and experience.”

Wiggins gets her points two main ways. She’s shooting nearly 66 percent from the floor, thanks in large part to her six steals per game, which lead to many easy layups.

And she’s also deadly from long-distance, connecting on nearly four 3-pointers per game, many coming on feeds from Mar’Shea Lewis, who is averaging nearly eight assists.

“Honestly, my team and my coaches (share the credit),” she said. “They help motivate me; whenever I’m down they help pick me up.”

Wiggins also gives plenty of credit to her personal trainer, Cedric Lewis. The two have worked together since middle school and its been a very fruitful relationship.

“She always had the athleticism,” said Lewis. “But she didn’t really know how to play. But she’s evolved and grown so much on the court. Her basketball IQ has done a 180.”

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