Special to the Journal
The basketball season is done for the Northeast Community College Lady Tigers.
That does not mean that head coach Brian Alexander is watching dust gather.
Alexander is among the many junior college coaches looking toward the April 8 signing date as he and the Lady Tigers recover from the injury bug that bit his crew this past season.
The Lady Tigers turned in a 7-16 overall effort, and 2-10 in the North Division. Not bad considering they had four starters miss 84 out of a possible 115 starts, mostly with knee injuries.
“You want your team to maximize their potential, and I think our team maxed out theirs,” Alexander said. “We started out the year as a team that I thought could do some good stuff.”
Among the ailing Tigers were potential leading scorers Kay K. Tate from Dyersburg (Tenn.) and Angelia Allen from Belmont. Tate was injured just before the season began, and Allen in December against ICC.
But the Lady Tigers that remained included sophomore Antiionette Riddle from Tupelo and freshman Aushiana Ivy from Shannon. They were named to the MACJC all-state team.
The Lady Tigers lose five players to graduation, with Ivy expected to be the key freshman returning.
Having just completed his first season at Northeast, men’s head coach Cord Wright is also hard at the recruiting trail.
“This season was a learning curve for all of us, and I don’t think our record was a reflection of the team we had.” said Wright, whose squad finished 5-18 and 2-10. “We gave a solid effort every night.
“The beauty of junior college ball is that it changes every year.”
Wright and the Tigers will get back leading scorer Dimario Jackson from La., a recent all-state selection. Wright also returns 6-foot-11 shot-blocker Al Azuiphar from Conn., and shooting guard Cannon Edwards from Petal.
I wish we’d had more experience this season,” Wright said. “As sophomores, we’ll need a bit more from them.”