By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
All hail the Region 23 Tournament champion Itawamba Lady Indians.
But time flies in athletics, especially with the two-year cycle of junior college sports, and the 2013-14 Lady Indians are looking to write their own history.
“We’re just trying to be competitive this season, trying to build cohesion for this team,” Itawamba head coach Nanci Gray said. “Having experience is always a good thing, and we want to give the kids the best opportunity to get into post-season play.”
Her squad fell to 2-1 with Tuesday’s 83-66 loss at Shelton State.
Gray is looking build around the experience of sophomores Tia Coleman from Memphis, Leslie Robinson from Belmont, and Latoya Collins from Jackson.
Freshman Jayla Chills from Ripley is leading the Lady Indians in scoring (16.7), while Coleman leads the team in rebounding (5.7).
The Lady Indians have a stiff series of road games on the schedule prior to Christmas, including a North Division game at rival Northeast Dec. 5. The Lady Indians are on the road today at Wallace State.
Second-year Indians head coach Grant Pate might be feeling on more solid ground this season, trying to improve on last season’s 11-12 mark.
“I think we went through a transition year,” said Pate, the former Tupelo coach. “This season, we’re stressing full-court defense, and transitioning into our half-court defense.
“I can’t be more proud of our effort already.”
Sophomores Tory Rice from Starkville, Jonathan McGee from Raymond, and redshirt freshman Randy Brown from Olive Branch are part of the veteran presence for Pate and the Indians (2-1). That also includes Jacksonville State transfer Alex Anderson, a Memphis native.
The 6-foot-1 McGee leads the team in scoring (19.0), followed by Anderson. Demarcus Bracey leads the team in rebounding (9.7).