Hoops Preview: Lumpkin County Lady Indians
Few teams have been able to handle the pressure of a repeat performance after winning a state title. That’s largely due to having to also replace key pieces from one year to the next. But something almost never seen before is having an entire roster back for an encore performance. If Lumpkin County lost one game last season, it’s hard to see the Lady Indians getting beat at all now that everyone is a year better and coach David Dowse at the helm.
HEAD COACH: David Dowse (6th Season)
2021-22 RECORD: 30-1, Region 7-AAA Champions, 3A State Champions, #1 State Ranking
RETURNING STARTERS: 5. SR PG Lexi Pierce (All-State), JR SG Ciera Brooks, JR G Averie Jones (All-State), SR SF Mary Mullinax (BLITZ POY, All-State, Region POY), SR PF Kate Jackson (All-State, Championship Game MVP)
KEY DEPARTURES: Ava Jones (SR PF), who is no longer playing basketball
KEY PLAYERS: Pierce, Brooks, Jones, Mullinax, Jackson, Maddie Lee (FR SG who has a chance to play early due to her motor and intellect).
OFFENSE: “Multiple – We have the ability to play a very controlled and direct game, but also have the athleticism to get out in transition,” states Dowse. “We can score from multiple levels with different players which makes us difficult to defend.”
STRENGTHS: “We return all but one player from a State Championship team,” says Dowse. “Our team has a number of talented and versatile players, but our biggest strength is that we play as a cohesive unit…without egos and with a single-mindedness of purpose.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGES: “Defending the AAA State Championship with some very talented teams and a bullseye on our back will be a tremendous challenge,” adds Dowse. “Our schedule is loaded with some outstanding programs from all classifications both within and outside of Georgia. 7-AAA is losing a quality team with the departure of East Forsyth but replaces them with both Pickens and Wesleyan, making the region arguably the toughest in AAA. Throw Hebron Christian, Carver Columbus, Cross Creek and LFO in the mix and AAA is among the most competitive in Georgia.”
Point blank, the Lady Indians are poised to run the region and look to be playing unselfish ball at their peak when the playoffs begin. Most teams will be zoning in on the state champions, so that pressure will be present. Knowing this group of girls and coach Dowse, they will relish that and welcome it in order to make sure they are always giving their very best effort each night.
The goals and expectations for this team are simple. “7-AAA Championship 3-peat,” states Dowse. “And AAA State Championship repeat.”