WOODBURY — The Herd is Thundering at full strength.
After a dozen games preparing for the day when it could get its two elite scorers on the floor at the same time, Woodbury had Alexis Davis and Nile Miller in the lineup for their Colonial Conference matchup with Haddonfield.
Glassboro transfer Alexis Davis opened the season in the lineup before an injury sidelined her for two weeks. Paul VI transfer Nile Miller joined the lineup on Jan. 18 after sitting out the NJSIAA-mandated 30 days at the beginning of the season. Miller played two games while Davis was recovering.
“We finally get to show how our chemistry works,” Miller said. “We have been winning games without us both on the floor. Now it will less work for us when we are both out there.”
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Davis and Miller combined for 37 points in a 64-32 win over the Bulldogs on Tuesday. The connection between the two star players was immediate and impactful. That’s no surprise. The only thing Miller couldn’t do over the season’s first 10 games was play.
“It was hard on Nile watching her team play, because he's very competitive,” coach Rahmod Noel said. “She's one of the most nonchalant players we have, off the court. She's chill. She's nonchalant but on the court, she wants to get after it. It was just hard for her to not be out there.”
As much as Davis and Miller have anticipated joining forces, the time when they couldn’t be on the floor at the same time hasn’t been wasted. Two elite scorers are one thing. Having three or four elite role players takes matters to the next level.
“It did give a chance for the girls to step up and learn their roles,” Noel said. “They have played in every situation. They are out here learning. They’re getting experience. That's the best thing.”
Jakya Jenkins, Diamnydh Oakley, Ivory Still and JaNazha Clinton rotate through the lineup. Each in their own way, bring flexibility to the lineup. After being asked to take on bigger roles early in the season, the Herd rotation is ready for almost anything.
— Tom Rimback, BCT 🏀 (@RimbackBCT) January 25, 2022
“Girls like Diamyndh, girls like JaNazha, Jakya and Ivory understand that they may not be asked to score in this or that game,” Noel said. “They may have to score next day. They all bring other things that are best for the team.”
Clinton contributed 15 points against Haddonfield. It was her turn to provide the extra offense after Davis and Miller. There’s no telling who will be the next player to fill that role.
“I'm very excited,” Noel said. “We have some great competition. There are some good teams we're going to play down the stretch and learn. That's what we want heading into the playoffs.”
As for Davis and Miller, they’re only getting started. They’ve played together for the first time. There’s plenty more coming.
“It didn't feel the same but I still we still did our thing,” Miller said. “It would have been better if me Lex could have played together from the start. We were still the better team most of the time. It’s just going to get better every game with me and Lex on the court together.”
Tom Rimback, sports reporter
Tom Rimback grew up reading the Burlington County Times and Courier Post sports sections and began writing for the BCT in 1996. He has covered everything from Super Bowls and Final Fours to Tri-County Swimming but he’s happiest on a sideline interviewing South Jersey scholastic athletes for the Burlington County Times, the Courier Post and The Daily Journal. Follow him on twitter @RimbackBCT. Email him with story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org and, most importantly, support local journalism with a subscription.
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This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Nile Miller, Alexis Davis give Woodbury basketball's best duo