Lady Tigers bank on experience for another big run
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editorr
Most coaches shy away from lofty preseason aspirations.
T.R. Miller Lady Tigers basketball coach Ron Jackson is an exception. While Jackson may not (at least publicly,) say his team's goal is to win the state championship, he does have aspirations of the next best thing.
So does that mean Jackson considers last season's 29-2 record and a postseason march that ended with a loss to Midfield in the Southwest Regional championship game a disappointment?
One reason why Jackson is optimistic about his team's chances is experience. While T.R. Miller graduated the services of point guard and top perimeter threat Keonshaye Lane, who is now at L.B. Wallace College, it returns the rest of its roster.
While there are still questions to be answered about the T.R. Miller bench, that is not the case about the starting liuneup that centers around 6-0 senior center Joy McCorvey and 5-9 senior guard Jasmine Sanford.
McCorvey was a Class 3A All-State First Team selection last year when she averaged 18.3 points and 12 rebounds a game. Sanford averaged 13.8 points per game and scored in double figures in 28 out of T.R. Miller's 31 games.
One transition for Sanford this season is the move into Lane's former point guard position.
Samantha Brown, a 5-0 junior, would probably be the first option if that situation arises. Donya Grice, a 5-9 junior, would probably be next in line.
Keya Peterson, a 5-3 senior, return to the T.R. Miller program last season after a year's absence. Peterson immediately stepped into a shooting guard role and never relinquished it.
Shae Walker, a 5-5 senior, is T.R. Miller's most experienced backup guard. Kesha Peterson, a 5-6 freshman, has shown some early promise.
Krystle Smith, a 5-8 senior, returns at the small forward position and was the Lady Tigers' defensive specialist last season. She is getting a strong push for that spot from Rebecca Scott, a 5-9 junior.
Brittany Watson, a 5-11 sophomore, has the upper hand on the other starting forward slot. Like Scott, Watson's minutes increased last year as the season went along.
Mynetra Bolly, a 5-10 freshman, may get one of the first chances to back people up inside.
T.R. Miller's dominance in the Class 3A Area 1 Tournament nearly ended last year when the Lady Tigers had to rally in the closing moments to beat Clarke County. Jackson expects a similar road block this season.
T.R. Miller Lady Tigers
Nov. 21 Escambia County Home 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 24-26 Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) Tournament
Nov. 29 Northview (Fla.) Home 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 2 Andalusia Away 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 8-10 Escambia County Tournament at Flomaton
Dec. 16 Monroe County Home 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 22-23 Oxford Tournament
Dec. 27-30 Spring Hill College Tournament at Mobile
Jan. 3 Clarke County Away 6 p.m.
Jan. 6 Flomaton Home 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 7 Hillcrest-Evergreen Away 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 W.S. Neal Home 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 Clarke County Home 6 p.m.
Jan. 17 Straughn Away 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 W.S. Neal Away 6 p.m.
Jan. 27 Straughn Home 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 28 Greenville Home 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 Flomaton Away 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 Monroe County Away 5:30 p.m.