Tuesday, January 1, 2013

JMU-Maine game a reunion for former high school teammates

Liz Wood, Lauren Milburn and Jazmon Gwathmey
Thanks to LadySwish "correspondent" Lauren Milburn, we have the inside track on last week's James Madison-Maine game, won by the Dukes 88-34. The game was a reunion of sorts for former Liberty High School teammates Liz Wood of Maine and Jazmon Gwathmey of JMU. Wood and Gwathmey were teammates on Liberty's 2011 Group AA state championship team. Wood was a junior that year and watched Gwathmey become Liberty's all-time leading scorer. The following season, when Liberty returned to the state title game, Wood became the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder.

Milburn coached the pair at Liberty, where she is now an assistant principal. She has retired from coaching.

Wood, who has started every game for Maine, leading the team in minutes played, 3-pointers and rebounds, finished the game with seven points and five rebounds. Her performance against JMU followed up by a double-double against Towson led to the freshman being named America East Rookie of the Week.

Gwathmey, a redshirt freshman at JMU, finished with nine points and three rebounds, playing more in the post this season rather than her natural wing position due to all the injuries the Dukes have endured. The 6-2 guard was the VHSCA state player of the year in 2011.

Milburn wasn't the only one from Bealeton's Liberty who made the trek to Harrisonburg. Family, friends, former coaches and players, even school principal Robert Lee, a JMU alum from 1978, were in the stands at the JMU Convocation Center.

A couple of fun side notes: Wood led Liberty back to the state title game in 2012 only to have the Eagles fall to Robert E. Lee. Leading Lee in scoring? Current JMU freshman Angela Mickens.

Lynchburg College sophomore Katie Reeves was also at the game. The starting point guard for her team, Reeves was a 2011 Liberty High graduate and part of that decorated state championship team.

We wouldn't know any of this without Milburn, an asset to LadySwish and an incredible asset to Liberty High.

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