A new coach, a new look, a new season,
a new attitude! That is how one can sum up the beginning of the Lady
Tigers basketball season.
Head coach Junior Johnson has been a very
busy individual over the past few months recruiting new players to
his team, teaching them to play to their strengths and getting the
most out of their skills and talents. But most of all, he is changing
the overall culture on the court by getting his players to believe in
themselves and their ability to win.
"The returners will have to step in
with a new attitude," Coach Johnson stated. "Last season is over
and water under the bridge. We are going to have players step up and
be examples. Anybody can hustle and play with intensity. We will be
expecting our players to produce every day, whether in games or in
practice," he went on to say.
Returning to the team are Bethany
Allen, Dominique Stringer, Kemysha Cross, Diamond Lockett and Miata
Mathis. Allen was the team's leading scorer and rebounder last
season. Bethany could be a very big part of the team's success this
year. She will be counted on to produce in practice and in
Dominique Stringer is short, but can really move. "DS" has
the potential to run the point and run the defense. She will be a
Kemysha Cross, or "Kee-Kee" to her team, is showing signs
of improvement and has a lot of speed in a 5'3" frame. Diamond
Lockett is fast and should be a defensive dynamo. Miata Mathis is
recovering from knee surgery and will be red-shirted this season.
Along with a new coach come several
new players. 6'1" Natasha Cook and 6'0" Atlanta Ervin have
the size and strength to help the Lady Tigers this year.
could become a great story. Coach Johnson said, "Tasha could give
us the height advantage against a lot of our opponents. She has been
away from the game for two years and has a lot of making up to
do, but with the right work ethic, we think she can get there."
Atlanta Ervin comes in with a
surgically repaired knee, but appears ready to train and get ready
for the next level. Taryn Lemon looks like she is barely 5'2" but
is in the gym as much as anybody. According to Coach Johnson, her
shot is really coming along.
Makayla Cordell is a late arrival. "Mak" actually played AAU basketball one summer for our men's coach,
Rodney Nelson. I might owe Coach Nelson a couple of meals for helping
her find her way to Hiwassee," stated Johnson.
Cordell made her
first appearance a memorable one.
"By the middle of practice,
McKayla stepped into the starting five," said Johnson.
Rounding out the team are Kristen
Strahler, Danielle Proulx and Kim Godby. According to Coach Johnson,
all are working hard and improving daily. Strahler will most likely
be red-shirted this season but Proulx and Godby will see some playing
The Lady Tigers open their season on
Thursday, Oct. 25 in a exhibition game against Emmanuel College in
Franklin, Ga. For more information on this year's roster, schedule
and other Lady Tiger information, visit the Hiwassee College website
at www.hiwassee.edu or call Coach Junior Johnson at 423-645-5304.