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Lady Tigers eye state championship repeat

By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
Repeating a state championship season is always a challenging and difficult task, but the 2002-03 T.R. Miller Lady Tigers have the tools to make it happen.
The Lady Tigers won the Class 4A state title last season and return four either full-time or part-time starters from their championship team that finished the year with a 30-2 record. Having been reclassified from Class 4A to Class 3A, Miller enters the new season as one of the teams expected to make a strong bid for the 3A crown.
Lady Tigers head coach Ron Jackson, last season's Class 4A Coach of the Year, has led the Lady Tigers' program to three state championships since 1993. As he enters his tenth season, Jackson gave some insights as to what it would take for his team to duplicate last season's accomplishments.
The Lady Tigers return a wealth of talented players from last season's team that rode a 28-game winning streak to the title. Among those with experience are Ashley Samuel, Brittnee Malloyd, Akia Suarez, Joy McCorvey, KeonShaye Lane, Candace Smith and Asher Moore.
Jackson gave an assessment of his experienced players and said each has skills that are essential to the Lady Tigers' success.
Jackson looks for several other Lady Tigers to step up with quality playing time this season.
Although the Lady Tigers have several newcomers that Jackson said are expected to contribute in the future, one in particular has stood out so far in the preseason.
Anyone familiar with Miller basketball knows the Lady Tigers feature an aggressive defense designed to force the opposition into mistakes. Jackson said this season's team would be no different.
If the Lady Tigers are to advance into postseason competition and gain the opportunity to add another state championship to the trophy case, they first must be able to get past the teams facing them in Area 1 competition. Along with Miller, W.S. Neal and Clarke County are the teams competing for the Area 1 title.
As the Lady Tigers prepare for the opening-season tipoff, Jackson shared his thoughts on what would be required for another successful season.