AFTER a strong showing last season, the Jefferson Lady Dragons are looking for an equally strong start to 2009-10 when they begin play next week.
The Lady Dragons will open at home by hosting the Tabo’s Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 21, 24, 25 and 28.
Last year, Jefferson’s girls went 11-13 overall, and 6-2 in the region, tying for first place in the south subregion. The Lady Dragons lost in the quarterfinals to Union County, who would go on to win the region tournament.
Jefferson comes into the year with several key losses to their lineup, including Callie Holloway, who is currently playing softball and basketball at Young Harris College and Emily Jacobs who is currently playing basketball at Truett McConnell.
But the team has several returning starters, including seniors Erin Knight and Stephanie Fincher.
The Lady Dragons also have several key newcomers to the team, including Bethany Whitlock, Skylar Evanson, Rachal Goza, Layce Rail and Jakeia Wilson.
Coach Jason Gibson said the team’s key to success will come defensively, in their rebounding with bigger teams and their ability to score in transition.
“This year’s group will be a little bit undersized inside, but hopefully we can make up for it on the perimeter,” Gibson said. “(We’re a) good shooting team that has a lot of potential. We will play four guards most of the time which could cause some match up problems on both ends of the floor.”
After the opening tournament, the Lady Dragons will travel to Atlanta on Dec. 2 to face North Hall at Phillips Arena. Then it’s a rematch with in-county rival Commerce at Commerce on Dec. 4. Jefferson will remain on the road for two more days, traveling to Fannin County on Dec. 8 and to Dawson County on Dec. 12 before coming home to host Rabun County.
The Lady Dragons will play their final game prior to the Christmas break on Dec. 18 at Oconee County. They will wrap up the ’09 segment of the season with the Pickens County Christmas Tournament Dec. 28-30.