Things have been very different for Dayona this season.
But two things remained unchanged — she can still score and is more team-oriented than ever.
On Monday, as her team took the floor for its first practice of the week, the Stephen Decatur junior guard was absent.
Instead, Godwin sat intently watching the athletic trainer wrap her left ankle.
Godwin blitzed her with questions to make sure this could happen for the away game Thursday at Parkside.
Satisfied with the responses, Godwin hopped off the table and hit the court with her teammates.
The tape is an important precaution after an ankle injury in December caused her to miss games for the first time of her career.
And it came as she was only 13 points away from breaking 1,000.
Godwin wasn’t worried about the points at the time but more about her team, who had already lost once this season. She would miss the Worcester County matchup against Pocomoke, but her Seahawks (6-1, 4-1 Bayside South) carried the weight and came out with the big 40-36 win.
“I feel like the injury was more of a blessing,” Godwin said. “It gave my teammates a lot of confidence, beating Pocomoke, so that really helped.”
Head coach Amy Fenzel-Mergott felt a little lucky as well. Godwin tweaked her ankle right before the biggest layoff in the season.
Godwin got healthy over the Christmas break and rang in the new year with style.
The first game on 2015, Jan. 6 against Washington was Godwin’s return.
“All day, I was just nervous,” Godwin said. “My family members, my teammates kept telling me, ‘It’s going to be alright. You’ll get it. Just play your game, it’ll come.’ “
But even in warmups, Godwin was still tense with another big crowd out to see if the junior could hit the milestone.
Then came tip-off.
“When I hit the first shot, all the nerves just went away,” she said.
Then in about four minutes, the buzzer had already sounded.
“That’s it, that’s Dayona’s 1,000th point,” Jamie Greenwood announced.
“It was very fast,” Godwin said. “I didn’t think that it was going to happen that fast. … Most of them were layups, but I remember the last play. It was an inbound play and Jillian (Petito) had passed it to Ally (Beck) and Ally had shot it, and she missed it.
“I got the rebound and put it back up.”
As quickly as Godwin had reached the mark, her parents were on the floor even faster with signs to celebrate.
Fenzel-Mergott met her with the commemorative ball as well.
“When she first came here, she’s such a prolific scorer,” Fenzel-Mergott said. “It comes so natural to her. She creates offense so naturally. Right from her first year, I thought, ‘Wow, she’s definitely somebody that’s going to leave her mark on the record books.'”
Point guard Jillian Petito, who had dished plenty of points to Godwin, said her teammate embraced the moment.
“I know that I’m so proud of her and all of us are so proud of her,” Petito said. “It’s a great feeling that she was finally able to achieve her 1,000th point.”
Back to business
But a week later, those are distant memories for Godwin.
There are plenty of new hurdles for her and this Seahawks’ team.
The tumultuous 2014 has a fresh slate in 2015.
There are no preseason rankings hanging over their heads, no records to break or injuries to overcome.
“I think the new year is a motivation for us to start over and keep going from there,” Petito said.
But stored away behind all of the upcoming challenges — like games against Parkside and Mardela in the next seven days — is a school record for points.
Elise Mercer’s basketball sits enshrined outside the gym, reading “Women’s All-Time Leading Scorer, 2001-2005, Elise Mercer, 1,494 points.”
“I definitely think she has the potential to be the all-time leading scorer — not that I think that’s even on her radar,” Fenzel-Mergott said.
Godwin, who always likes to know what the questions are before she answers them, asked once more, “team goals or like personal goals.”
Because it’s always the team first.
“My focus right now is completely on the team,” she said. “It’s not on getting the school record but if it happens, it happens. I just want to be more focused on the team now that I’ve got my 1,000th point.”
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