FULTON, Miss. (WTVA/ICC Athletics) – The Itawamba Community College basketball teams will open the season Thursday night against Lawson State (Ala.) Community College at the Davis Event Center.
The Lady Indians will return five players from last year’s squad that finished 14-8 and advanced to the conference quarterfinals.
“We’ve got a lot of freshmen this year,” said Coach Nanci Gray. “Right now we are leaning on our sophomores to lead the way. We’re excited about the kids we have this year. We’re going have to play well and we’re going to have to grow up with a tough non-division schedule, but we are hoping that will help us get ready for division play.”
Shaniyah Buford (Abbeville) returns after scoring a team-high 15.1 points per game. Taneshia Miller (Greenville) returns as the team’s top rebounder from last season after averaging 7.3 boards a night. Kaylyn Wilson (Columbus) was second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per game. Zaria Jenkins (Columbus) and Darquazha McClatchey (Independence) look to make an added impact in larger roles this season.
The Indians will have a roster filled with freshmen. Rance Champ (Shannon) was a member of last year’s team as a red shirt freshman.
“It’s a challenge because of the lack of experience. Experience is our best teacher,” Coach Grant Pate said about this season’s roster. “We’ll be young and we’ll take some bumps and bruises early trying to figure out the college game from the high school game.”
Pate says Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Player of the Year Ma’Darius Hobson (Houlka), Akeem Kirkwood (Weir), Cartisco Brown (Indianola), Jadakiss Williams (Memphis, Tenn.) and Travonta Doolittle (Hughes, Ark.) all have had strong preseason showings.
ICC will host 12 home dates against Lawson State (Ala.), Shelton State (Ala.), Snead State (Ala.), Mid-South (Ark.), Gadsden State (Ala.), Baton Rouge (La.), Northeast, Mississippi Delta, East Mississippi, Northwest, Cohoma, and Holmes.
All home games will start with the Lady Indians at 5:30 p.m. with the men tipping off at 7:30 p.m.