The Lady Tiger basketball squads hit the courts at Armstrong Atlantic State University’s basketball camp last weekend where the junior varsity team won its third championship in a row and the varsity squad finished 5-3, despite missing some starters.
The basketball camp, which was at the university’s campus in Savannah, marks the end of the summer conditioning program.
Junior varsity Lady Tiger coach Dana King said defense was the key to winning games.
"We ran a 3-2 half court trap that I got from coach (Faye) Baker," King said. "Our opponents had a hard time getting the ball past half court. My girls did a very good job of executing the trapping defense. Our offense was well-balanced. We moved the ball around unselfishly. Other coaches complemented us on how good our ball movement was."
On the first day of the tournament, the JV squad outscored opponents, winning 36-22, 42-20 and 45-9.
"Kami Smalls did an outstanding job of running the offense and making sure the players were in the right place," King said.
On day two, the JV squad went 3-0, winning 36-16, 22-18 and 19-18.
"We were down 6 points with two minutes to go," King said of the one-point win. "We switched to our show-time defense (man to man). Treneice Boles hit a base line jumper with 20 seconds to go to lead us to victory."
The coach said Akeyla Richardson and Latisha Frasier combined for 8 steals to lead their team to a hard-fought 22-18 victory.
On day three, the girls went 2-0.
"This was the first round of the tournament and we were the number one seed," King said. "By this time team were figuring out how to break the 3-2 trap so we switched to a full court Tiger press that took us all the way to the championship. The first game we won 40-10 and in the championship game we won 50-14. Symone May led in rebounding with 15 per game. She has a Charles Barkley-like instincts when it comes to rebounding. That’s something you can’t teach. I’m very proud of the team and what they have accomplished. Now I know how the Lakers and Bulls feel ... to accomplish a ‘three-peat’ is as good as it gets."
King’s record last season was 10-4 but he said he is excited about the possibility of having an undefeated team next season.
JV squad team roster
The varsity team only took a squad of five to the tournament, but still managed to finish with a 5-3 record. Starters Mariah Maternik and Quintunya Chapman and probable starter LaNiqua Fowler were among the missing players.
"We went out there with five players and one rising eighth-grader and with what we had, I was real pleased with our performance," Lady Tiger varsity coach Faye Baker said.
Baker said starter Seandre Lee carried the varsity squad.
"Along with Camille Jackson, they were the only two seniors," she said.
Like the JV squad, Baker said defense was the key to their success.
"Our trapping defense was successful," she said. "It was something we tried to work on a lot this summer and the kids did pretty well with it. We were able to create a lot of offense with our defense."
The players get a break from basketball with the exception of one-on-one training for a few individuals. The Lady Tiger will wait until October to begin full conditioning to prepare for the 2009-10 season.