HomeSportsLady Dragons competing well with SIAC’s best teams

Lady Dragons competing well with SIAC’s best teams

The women’s college basketball team at Lane College has had an up-and-down season.

The Lady Dragons started out hot with an 8-1 record in November and early December before taking a couple of losses right before the end of 2022.

The illness and injury took its toll on the roster, leaving the Lady Dragons without four starters at one point and even forcing their trip to conference-leader Tuskegee because they didn’t have enough to play.

When Tuskegee made the trip to Jackson this past weekend, the Lady Golden Tigers brought with them an unbeaten record in Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. They left with that unbeaten record intact, but the Lady Dragons pushed them all game before falling 74-70.

South Side alumna Tamia Curry is one of those players that dealt with sickness in January.

“I missed one game, and it was hard because I couldn’t be out there playing and wasn’t there to motivate my teammates either,” Curry said.

And for head coach Surina Dixon, putting a team on the court without four of its best five players forced her to trust players with more minutes and more in-game responsibility than she’d planned to.

“Four starters out is four experienced players and a lot of production in scoring and other stats not on the floor,” Dixon said. “So while we’re playing without them, it created opportunities for some of those players that wouldn’t have normally gotten as much playing time to step up and show us what they could do.”

The Lady Dragons took their lumps. Since that 8-3 record going into the break at Christmas, they’ve gone 4-6 with an 8-7 record in SIAC play.

The game against Tuskegee was the first game with everybody back. And while not everyone was back to 100 percent game shape, the Lady Dragons proved they could play with the best in the conference, never letting Tuskegee take a commanding lead like it’s done in many of its previous games.

Lane trailed for most of the game, but except for a couple of minutes in the second half, they were never behind by more than six and were able to make a run to tie or come close to a tie when they did fall behind.

“Tuskegee is undefeated and beat us [Saturday], but I still think we’re the best team in the conference,” Currie said. “And we get another game against them and a few games left in the season to get a better seeding for the tournament.”

Every team in the SIAC automatically makes the conference tournament, so Lane will be playing for the best seed possible.

The program is three years removed from a Cinderella run to the conference championship in 2019, so the older players remember what postseason success looks like.

Dixon understands as well. She coached at Lane for three years in the 2000s before returning this season. So she already understood the potential the Lady Dragons have and also the difficulty of a conference like the SIAC.

“Every game in this conference is a tough game night-in and night-out,” Dixon said. “So none of this is a surprise.

“But I think the games where we played without some starters gave us a chance to build some depth and hopefully we’ll be back to 100 percent as a team just in time for the tournament and be ready to really compete for a championship then.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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