Over the next few weeks, Chamblee, which is currently 9-4, will face Redan, Columbia and Marist, which are all very credible opponents, before the region tournament in February.
“I think in the beginning we were winning due to the fact that teams weren’t that challenging,” Velez said. “But we definitely have to increase our intensity, and everyone has to be on the same page as far as teamwork and communication.”
“We’re familiar with these teams,” Rhodes said. “We know what they have. They know what we have. Even though we have a good record right now. We can’t get bigheaded. We got to keep working in practice.”
The formula behind much of the Lady Bulldogs’ success so far this season is due to the 1-2 punch of Rhodes and Velez, whose scoring (14 ppg) and steal (three spg) averages are nearly identical.
“They are a good little tandem of guards,” Chamblee girls’ coach Paul Ireland said. “They are both shooting guards so I put them on opposite wings and that causes teams a lot of problems.”
“When Candace is driving to the hole she already knows I will be in the corner trying to shoot a three,” Velez said.
Sophomore Brooke Carthon has also been a key contributor, averaging nearly 10 points for
Chamblee, which missed the playoffs last season.
“With the team that we have this year, I’m very confident that we would get to the playoffs,” Velez said. “Everyone just has to believe that we can get there.”
“We have a lot more focus this year than in the past,” Rhodes said. “We work well together, probably the best since I’ve been here. I’m the only player who has been on the team the past four years. This is the best we’ve been overall.”