For the hard-core basketball type, just getting on the court is good news. Which is exactly what the Lady Tigers will do today when they open the 2013 portion of their North Division schedule by hosting the East Mississippi Lady Lions today at 5:30 p.m.
Perhaps even better news for head coach Brian Alexander, in an injury plagued season, he expects New Albany sophomore Kebrina Lucas to be in uniform and able to play after missing the first 11 games due to a hand injury.
“Mentally, I think the team has been very good the first part of the season, especially losing our best player to injury,” Alexander said. “I think the kids have been very positive.”
The injury that had the potential to impact the Lady Tigers the most, was freshman leading scoring Kay K. Tate going out for the season Nov. 29 in an 80-55 loss to Itawamba. Tate, from Dyersburg, Tenn., was averaging 14.3 points per game.
But the schedule waits for no player, and Alexander and the Lady Tigers (5-6, 1-1) move head-long into division play.
“Staying healthy is key for us,” Alexander said. “For us, we need to cut down on our turnovers, and the other pieces of the game will fall into place.
“I think with the third through seventh teams in the division, there is a lot of balance. The teams that play efficiently on offense will do well.”
Alexander will be counting on several freshmen to pick up the slack on offense for the Lady Tigers, including Belmont’s Angelia Allen at 12.3 ppg, and LaTonya Gadison at 10.9 ppg. Tupelo freshman Antionette Riddle could impact things as well, averaging 8.7 ppg.
The Northeast men (6-5, 1-1) tip off their 2013 North schedule today at 7:30 p.m. against East.
The Tigers are one of five teams at 1-1 in a seven-team division, making for a competitive number of games in the next few weeks. But also leaving no room for error.
Tyler Brunson from Atlanta paces the Northeast offense at 15.4 ppg, with Ripley’s Acie Vance next at 14.3 ppg. KeDorian Sullivan from Memphis comes in at 10.9 ppg.