Lady Tigers ready to close the deal

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 19, 2005

When the Marion Military Institute girls walked off the court after their final game last year, the scenario was not what they had expected.

After dominating their opponents for most of the year, the Lady Tigers were shocked by the underdog Autauga Academy Lady Generals 38-36.

This season, the Lady Tigers goal is to avoid another letdown.

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Lady Tiger Coach Dr. Michelle Ivey said though it is

early in the season, she has already noticed a change in her team’s attitude.

“They’re a lot more dedicated,”Ivey said.

That dedication has shown in their first month of play.

The Lady Tigers are off to a fast start after defeating 2005 AA runner-up Pickens Academy, Lowndes Academy and exacting revenge on the Autauga team that shattered last year’s dreams of a championship season.

Leadership, Ivey said, has been a key for Marion. However, she felt there was one team that could stand in the Lady Tigers hopes of a championship.

“Everybody back,” Ivey said. “But,

to win the area title, we’re going to have to go through Sumter.”

Experience could be the catalyst that sends the Lady Tigers back to Montgomery. With Junior point guard Samantha Suttles, Senior guard Yolanda Kelley, junior guard Emily Easley and junior forward Arielle Cochrane on the floor, Marion is tough to stop.

The final piece to what could be a championship puzzle is 6′ 3″ senior forward Felicia Sprott. Sprott has already put down a double-double in the Lady Tigers win over Lowndes, scoring 30 points and pulling 21 rebounds.

Ivey said Sprott is the kind of player that gives opposing coaches nightmares.

“I wouldn’t know what to do if I coached against her,” Ivey said. ” She moves better this year. She’s working even harder.”

The Lady Tigers do not shy away from putting together a tough schedule. Ivey said this keeps them on their toes and ready to take on a tough challenge every time they hit the court.

Ivay left no doubt as to what the Lady Tigers were shooting for this season.

“We feel like every year we should play for the state title,” Ivey said. “I don’t think our season would be a total failure if we didn’t win it. But it would be a great disappointment.”