• 41°

Staton right ingredient for Rio

CHESAPEAKE — When Rio Grande Redwomen head coach David Smalley looks for a player, he has some certain ingredients for his recipe to success.

With 20 or more wins on a regular basis, the formula has worked well. Friday, Smalley was cooking again as he signed Chesapeake Lady Panthers 5-foot-8 senior point guard Lexy Staton to a letter-of-intent.

“The things we look for are knowledge, hard-nosed and ability. I firmly believe she has that,” Smalley said.

“She’s a good, solid individual and a good, solid player. She’s the type of player with a good work ethic. She’s a great candidate for us.”

Staton said getting the opportunity to play for Rio Grande was an honor and she said it was an easy decision when Smalley made her an offer.

“I hope I can come in there and continue to play. I’m ready to work hard and continue with my career,” Staton said.

“I went to some camps there and I loved the campus. I visited it and I just felt it was the right place.”

Staton transferred to Chesapeake this season and filled a void at the point guard position. She averaged six assists a game as she helped 6-3 senior center Sarah Rucker score 28 points per game.

“She completely changed us when she came here. She took us from a non-competitive team to a team that was competitive every game,” Chesapeake head coach John McClung said.

“More than anything, her leadership and her will to win helped our program. She made us fight for a lot of our victories. We wouldn’t have won a lot of games if it wasn’t for her.”

Staton didn’t score a lot of points, but Smaller said that was not a priority.

“Scoring-wise, we don’t put a lot of pressure on our guards. If they do, that’s a bonus. Good guard play is so important to our program,” Smalley said.

Staton said she isn’t concerned with playing on the varsity or junior varsity team her first season, just getting better.

“I have a lot of work left to do. I need to work on my left hand. Just to be part of the team is an honor,” Staton said.

Lexy is the daughter of Teresa and Chris Staton of Proctorville.