GHS Lady Tiger seniors eye state title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 22, 2003

The seniors on Greenville High School's varsity girls basketball team have high expectations this season.

Those expectations include a Class 5A state championship.

"It's my last year," the Lady Tigers' 6nfootn3 Center Nina Robinson said. "I'm focusing on getting a ring and getting a scholarship."

GHS Head Coach Ronald Bogan has emphasized defense this season in hopes of finding success and helping fulfill his upperclassmen's goals. The senior's guidance could also play a big role.

"They're very important as far as leadership is concerned," Bogan said. "We only have three seniors and the rest of the team is fairly young. They're helping me out a whole lot and trying to keep us on goal. When we're having a down time, they're the ones that pick us up."

Robinson is expected to snag a bulk of the Lady Tigers' rebounds this season. The 17nyearnold, who is being recruited by Winston Salem University in North Carolina and Alabama State University, believes Bogan's defensive philosophy could be the key in winning the state title.

"I think we're going all the way this year," Robinson said. "We've got to keep working on our offense though. We've got the defense."

Even though Robinson was late to get her basketball career started, Bogan is confident that she's got what it takes to get the job done.

"She started playing basketball late, but her skill level has improved dramatically," Bogan said. "She's a great shot blocker, an excellent rebounder, a leader and a team motivator."

Forward Tameka Savage, 5nfootn7, is confident in her teammates. With all the offensive changes this season, the 18nyearnold believes a complete team effort will be needed to be victorious.

"I feel like we're going to have a good season," Savage said. "It's hard for us to learn the defenses. It's hard for us to learn the same things on the same level. If one person messes up, the whole play is messed up. Our defense is okay, but our offense is off."

Savage agrees with Robinson and believes this is the year to travel to Birmingham and bring home the championship. Bogan said Savage's versatility will be an added factor.

"She's very quick, very vocal, possesses great qualities as a leader and is a solid rebounder," Bogan said.

Bogan not only stresses defense, he also emphasizes friendships among his players. Savage said that isn't a problem.

"We know each other well and can communicate with each other on and off the court," Savage said. "We work together well."

Deandra Sturgeon, 5nfootn4, isn't in the Lady's starting lineup this season. Not because she hasn't earned the spot, but because Bogan likes it that way.

"I've got her coming off the bench because she can pick up the team," Bogan said. "She's a very quiet person. She likes to come to practice early and work on her shooting. She hustles. She's a good ballplayer and well-rounded individual."

Sturgeon, 17, is known best for her defensive skills. She plans on using her knowledge on defense to help her team win the state title.

"Me personally, I like playing defense better than offense," Sturgeon said. "Coach Bogan loves defense, and everyone on the team believes defense is what wins ballgames."