Hoops Preview: Jefferson Lady Dragons
Jefferson put up yet another fantastic year in 2021-22, going 25-4 overall, ranked throughout the season as high as #1 in the state polls, won the Region 8-AAAA Championship, and played in the Elite 8. With a veteran senior group leading the way, the Lady Dragons were hard to beat. With no returning starters back combined with moving into a higher classification, many would not give Jefferson a chance this year. Those people aren’t familar with the expectations for this program and the talent that churns year in and out.
HEAD COACH: Greg Brown (5th Season)
2021-22 RECORD: 24-5, Region 8-AAAA Champions, 4A Elite 8, #1 State Ranking
RETURNING STARTERS: 0
KEY DEPARTURES: Natalia Bolden, Ellie Kinlaw, Deshona Gaither, Tylia Brown, Jyesha Butts, Hailey Triaga, Kendall Bailey
KEY PLAYERS: Delaney Dewitt, Anni Aldridge, Emeri Billings, Eve Knight, Skyler Brady
OFFENSE: Up and down, fast paced
STRENGTHS: Athletic group with a lot of enthusiasm
BIGGEST CHALLENGES: “Inexperience…We have a lot of talented players, who have just been behind a lot of talented players,” states Brown.
Point blank, the Lady Dragons have a new starting 5, and will outrun many opposing teams up and down the court. Using their athleticism and conditioning, Jefferson will factor into the new Region 8-AAAAA. Though inexperienced, most just haven’t gotten their chance to shine. They’ll get that opportunity now.
“The expectations at Jefferson never change, they are always extremely high,” says Brown. “It will be fun to see this young group grow and progress throughout the season.”