By Austin Bishop
Special to The Star
The Meridian Community College women's basketball team and new head coach Jocelyn McGilberry have spent the past few months getting to know each other.
McGilberry, a former Auburn standout and assistant coach at both Ole Miss and Mississippi State, says that so far things are progressing well.
"Everything is looking good for us at this point," said McGilberry. "The girls are working hard. They bought in from day one as to what I wanted to bring to the team as far as my style of play. I think they are excited about it."
McGilberry said the Eagles will have an up-tempo style, which will lead to her squad needing a lot of stamina.
"I think we will be well-conditioned, I guarantee you that," she said. "We did a lot of preseason work to prepare ourself."
McGilberry is in a unique situation, because none of the players on this year's roster are her recruits.
The Eagles have seven players returning from last year's NJCAA tournament team that won the Region 23 championship and finished 22-12 on the season. The incoming freshmen were recruited by former MCC head coach Hillary Allen, who posted a 249-95 record during his tenure.
"Coach (Allen) had an awesome team, but a lot of that team graduated," McGilberry said. "Getting back to the national tournament and winning the region is one of our motivators, because that is what we are shooting for, but I am also a realist. I know it is not the same team. Those starters are gone."
Headed into the season Reyada Stinner, a former Meridian High standout, will be handling the point guard duties for the Eagles, who open the 2012-13 season at home against Bishop State on Saturday.
"The point guard is the quarterback of the team," McGilberry said. "She will be on my hip. We will be playing that role together."
McGilberry said she's pretty much decided on the starting five, at least going into the season opener.
"The first five are each going to have their own roles and they have to play them," she said. "If they can just stick with their roles they will be fine.."
Sophomore Gelese Lampton will be the two-guard, while Kristen Sampson is the small forward and sophomores Ashtin McNichols, a former Newton High star, and Malaka Johnson are the post players.
Height is not a strength for the Eagles, will the tallest player being 5-foot-8.
"They are all about the same height," McGilberry said. "We have a team full of guards. So we are going to have to push the ball and depend on our quickness."
By Austin Bishop
Titles nothing new for Newton County
Newton County captured its seventh fast-pitch state championship, outscoring defending champion Houston 26-3 in two games. The Cougars took home the title despite not having a single senior on their roster –– still, few were surprised.
Embry completes 5A title sweep
In his first year coaching the Neshoba Central softball team, Trae Embry won two state titles but wouldn't take all the credit.
Morgan takes runner-up at Nationals
Meridian Community College golfer, TJ Morgan, from Bruce, MS, tied for the
individual medalist at the NJCAA D1 National Championship held in Lubbock, TX, but lost on the first hole of a playoff. TJ shot 7 under for the tournament with a 76 on the first day followed by 68, 67 and a last round 70. Aksel Olsen from Wallace State Community College won the playoff. TJ was named First Team All-American for his high finish.
MSU’s Renfroe wins Ferriss Trophy
The first time Mississippi State coach John Cohen saw Hunter Renfroe play baseball, he marveled at his natural ability.
Three years later, he's also in awe of his work ethic.
- (PHOTOS) Enterprise in the Class 2A State Championship Slideshow of Enterprise in the Class 2A State Championship fast pitch series.
- (PHOTOS) Newton County wins Class 4A Slideshow of Newton County in the Class 4A State Championship fast pitch series.
- (PHOTOS) Neshoba wins Class 5A Slideshow of Neshoba Central in the Class 5A State Championship fast pitch series.
Newton County beats Houston 10-0 to claim 7th fast-pitch championshi
Players from Newton County’s dugout barely made it to the foul line before a celebratory dogpile ensued here Saturday. Indeed, winning never gets old.
The Lady Cougars blanked Houston 10-0 Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park, completing an easy sweep of their best-of-three, Class 4A State Championship Series and gaining a measure of revenge after falling short a year ago.
Rockets roar by East Central, claim 5A crown
Trae Embry took somewhat of a gamble when he accepted the softball
coaching job at Neshoba Central -- leaving his hometown and his comfort zone for a
- Newton County wins state
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- Titles nothing new for Newton County