Special to the Journal
The Northeast Lady Tigers played in the finals of the 2013 MACJC State Championship Tournament in basketball, even after losing leading scorer Kay K. Tate to an injury
With a solid core of returning players, head coach Brian Alexander will have to try to accomplish that same feat under similar circumstances again in 2013-14 season.
“We do have some experience, and that’s why I’m excited about this team,” Alexander said. “We’ve got to keep moving forward.
“Last year we played for a state title, and that’s what we expect this season.”
Tate, from Dyersburg, Tenn., suffered a knee injury seven games into last season, averaging 14.3 points per game at the time. This year, she suffered an ACL tear the week before the Lady Tigers opened their season.
But Alexander does not expect that to deter sophomores like Angelia Allen from Belmont, Antionette Riddle from Tupelo, LaTonya Gaston from Rosedale and Kiki Gwyn from Kossuth.
Already two games into their season, the Lady Tigers (0-2) have also seen immediate help from Shannon freshman Aushiana Ivy, who is leading the team in points at 16.0 per game, and in rebounds at 10.5 per game.
“I’m very encouraged,” said Alexander, whose Lady Tigers were in both games late. “Our future is very bright.”
Northeast women’s and men’s teams each open their home schedule today, hosting Columbia State. The Lady Tigers tip off at 5:30 p.m.
Both teams also have two North Division games before Christmas. Northeast will host rival ICCon Dec. 5, and play at Northwest on Dec. 9.
Tigers basketball will certainly have a different look without leading scorer Acie Vance from Ripley and the retirement of head coach David Robbins, who is now the school’s athletic director.
In steps first-year head coach Cord Wright, whose prior stops include the University of North Alabama and, most recently, Louisiana-Monroe.
Northeast (1-2) is three games into this season, with Dimario Jackson leading the team in scoring at 16.3 ppg, followed by Marcus Hogan at 13.6.