Allison Beasley and Haley Laughter are going to have to carry more of the load for the Carolina Day girls this season.
They are perfectly OK with that arrangement.
Beasley (Furman) and Laughter (Florida Gulf Coast) signed with Division I colleges last month, freeing the duo to focus on the task at hand. Namely, helping the Wildcats (2-1) become the first Western North Carolina girls basketball team to win three consecutive state championships since Asheville High’s NCHSAA 3-A run from 2003 to 2005.
“It’s exciting,” Laughter said.
“I think it’s going to be a fun season. We’re young and our roster isn’t as big as it has been in the past so everyone is going to get to play. We’re learning just as much as the young girls.”
Beasley, Laughter and the rest of Carolina Day’s starters built a 40-14 halftime lead on Tuesday night en route to a 77-29 blowout at Asheville School.
Laughter (23 points), Beasley (13) and Sarah Wetter (12) all scored in double figures in the Carolinas Athletic Association opener for the Wildcats (3-1, 1-0).
Laughter is a forward who averaged 17.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game last winter for a 30-2 team that cruised to its second straight NCISAA 2-A championship. She was named the CAA Player of the Year.
Beasley poured in 15.1 points a night, to go along with averages of 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals. Like Laughter, she is a three-time All-CAA selection.
Wetter is a junior who had scholarship offers from several Division II colleges at the end of last season.
Together, those three are a big reason Carolina Day is the favorite to three-peat and the top team in the current NCISAA 2-A rankings. Nine of the 11 players on the Wildcats roster managed to score on Tuesday.
Maggie Lindsey (15 points) had more than half of the points for the Blues (1-3, 0-2) on Tuesday.
Carolina Day graduated three college players from last season — Jessi Edmonds (Liberty), Jessica Farmer (Elon) and Kaitlin Jackson (Eckerd, Fla.).
“It was a lot different at first,” Laughter said.
“We’ve been playing with some of those girls for the last six or seven years.”
Beasley is convinced that the Wildcats will mesh over the course of this season.
“Right now, everyone is just figuring out where they fit in,” she said.
“But I’m excited about this team. I think we can have a great season.”