The Piedmont High senior signed with Gadsden State after finishing her high school basketball career with more than 1,000 points.
“To start out, she came to us as a sophomore and the first day that she came and enrolled at the school we had camp at Gadsden State that day,” Bulldogs coach Matt Deerman said. “That kind of threw her into the fire to see what she had. It was an instant feeling that she was going to up her game.”
Garner’s senior season involved the transition of playing forward as opposed to guard, which she will play in college. The change was a good one for Garner. She shot 50 percent from the field and averaged 11 points and 6.9 rebounds a contest.
“We had to do what was best for the team even though we knew that wasn’t going to be where she’d play in the future. We had that talk plenty of times,” Deerman said. “She made a commitment to Piedmont before she moved on to Gadsden State. That’s the kind of person she is. She’s very competitive.”
Deerman said the relationship Gadsden State coach John Butts established with Garner was the biggest factor.
“Coach Butts does a very, very good job of recruiting our area and was a former high school coach at Etowah County,” Deerman said. “I think he can relate to those kids because he’s been there and coached them for several years, and I think they built a good relationship because he showed a huge interest in her. He stayed at her, kept in contact with her, asked her to watch practice and got her involved. I think she realized he really wanted her to play.”
Garner plans to major in nursing.
• TWEETING A WIN: Twitter has become a new way to discover reactions after something big happens in sports. And Oxford track star Jacob Schwyn’s reaction when he set a new school record at the Spain Park Classic on Saturday didn’t disappoint.
“Just won my first 1600 in a big meet!! Got a sweet medal and set a NEW SCHOOL RECORD!!! 4:31!”
The win came less than a week after the Oxford boys and girls teams swept the Calhoun County meets and Schwyn won multiple events.
• COUNTY CHAMPS: The Alexandria girls golf team owned the county last weekend.
On its way to winning its fifth straight Calhoun County girls golf championship, Alexandria simply dominated. Finishing with a team score of 513 after the two-day event, Alexandria took the title by 55 strokes over White Plains. Also, it was no surprise that Jordan Gregoria of Alexandria took home the individual crown as a sophomore.
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star