Lady Tigers have some unfinished business

Published 7:27 am Wednesday, November 24, 2004

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Some might call the upcoming season unfinished business for the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers basketball team, esepecially for a squad that returns four starters.
T.R. Miller came up one game short in its quest for the Class 3A state championship last season when it was upended by Abbeville 40-33 in the finals. That loss capped off what had otherwise been a fantastic year with a 29-3 record.
"Anytime you can get to the state championship game, it's been a good year. The kids played hard. Abbeville just played a real good game in that chamionship game, especially defensively," T.R. Miller coach Ron Jackson said.
Even with 80 percent of his starting unit back, Jackson does not want to put the cart in front of the horse when it comes to the season.
"If we can get back to the state tournament, that would be great. Hopefully we can do it, but we have so much work in front us before we even get to that point," Jackson said.
The lone missing piece from last year's squad is a huge one. Ashley Samuel not only led the Lady Tigers in scoring last season at nearly 25 points a game and finished her career as the number two scorer in school history with 2,197 points, but she was the Class 3A Player of the Year in the state for the second straight season.
"Ashley was pretty much our leader for the last three years. I don't think we can expect to find one player to replace Ashley's production. If everybody can add another four or five points a game to their average this season, that will offset what we lost and we should be fine. That would give us better team balance and that's not all bad either," Jackson said.
The Lady Tigers should have two different kinds of leaders this season. Point guard Keonshaye Lane, a 5-9 senior, owns the distinction of being the team's lone senior. She will be counted on in the leadership role.
"Right now Keonshaye is stepping into the leadership role