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Warthen big part of success of Lady Screaming Devils' basketball program this season

WARRENTON, Ga. - Chances are very likely that those who follow Georgia Class A prep basketball have heard the name Candice Warthen. There are plenty of reasons why.

First off, she's regarded as one of the most talented varsity girls' basketball players in the state. Now involved in the region playoffs this week, Warthen, a 5-4 junior, is averaging 26 points per game, six assists, seven rebounds and six steals.

When it comes to basketball, the 16-year-old Warthen has learned the game well. She's been a starter since her freshman year and has gotten better.

"Our team is very blessed to have a player like Candice Warthen," Warren County Head Coach Jaamal Rhoades said during a recent interview concerning his star player. "She means an awfully lot to this basketball team."

He refers to her as a hard worker and a player determined to succeed.

"She really works hard and studies the game," Coach Rhoades said. "She wants to be successful and play at the next level someday."

Warthen, the daughter of Malecia Erwin and the late Willie Warthen, couldn't be happier if the latter happens.

"I want to play college basketball after graduation," Warthen told The McDuffie Mirror during an interview last Thursday. "I'm having my best season, yet. And I'm excited about the future."

Warthen has helped the Lady Screaming Devils to an impressive 17-8 overall record and a perfect 8-0 sub-region performance this season. Warren County was scheduled to have played their first region tournament game in Warrenton on Tuesday.

She's most proud of the accomplishments that she and her teammates have had on the hardwood this season.

"We've had a great season up to this point," Warthen said, adding that she'd like to see the team go far into the playoffs. "We came out this season with a lot to prove to ourselves and to other teams. We've been able to do that and it feels great."

She hopes the Lady Screaming Devils can make it into this year's Elite 8, which would be another feat for the team.

"I want to go to Rome for the playoffs and the Macon Coliseum before I graduate," Warthen said.

Warthen, a member of the AAU Georgia-Lina 76ers in Augusta, believes this could be Warren County's year to win a region championship. Just last week, Warthen was spotlighted as Player of The Week by The Augusta Chronicle."We've had losing seasons the last two years and I want us to have a winning one this year and win the region championship," Warthen said. "We can do it, because we believe we can do it."

She said she's learned a lot about the game this season.

"I've learned more about being a team leader and playing with an unselfish attitude," she added.

Web posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009

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