Lady Tigers aim for more success

Cagers coming off first winning season in six years


Until Velma Mitchell returns from foot surgery, the Lady Tigers will have to learn to carry on without their leading scorer. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Until Velma Mitchell returns from foot surgery, the Lady Tigers will have to learn to carry on without their leading scorer. Reporter/Bill Martin Before the Rockdale Lady Tigers could even step on the court, injuries spread through the roster like a plague, trying to put a damper on the excitement that surrounds the resurgent program.

All three returning starters were ailing.

Leading scorer Velma Mitchell had surgery on both feet to correct her arch, center Shelby Evans had suffered a concussion and point guard Visha Henderson was trying to shake off a sprained ankle.

Lady Tiger coach Liz Galloway McQuitter—beginning her sixth season—would not let her enthusiasm for the upcoming season be denied.


Shelby Evans provides a defensive presence for the Lady Tigers as a shot blocker. Shelby Evans provides a defensive presence for the Lady Tigers as a shot blocker. “It is not the roster opener I planned, but we still have a team that is capable of winning,” she said.

Mitchell will be out for some time, but the 6-foot-1 Evans (7.3 ppg, 4.5 rebs) and Henderson have returned. Henderson is the lone senior on the roster.

Mitchell electrified the team last season as a freshman, averaging 15.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 steals, all team highs.

For her efforts, she was named the District 23-3A newcomer of the year.

There’s an extra spring in the step of the Lady Tigers this season as they are coming off the first winning season for the program in six years after posting a 17-13 record

“We have a different team than last year’s,” McQuitter said. “That group was prepped to make a playoff run, and while they achieved a winning record, we fell short of our playoff goal.”

The Lady Tigers have not made a playoff appearance since 2005.

“It was a very dynamic group of seniors who left an imprint on the program and are missed in areas other than sports,” said McQuitter.

The Lady Tigers lost blue collar workers Victoria Drake and Jill Young, but there are a host of youngsters primed to step in.

While Taylor Pickett is the only other letterman back other than the three starters, the roster has been infiltrated by newcomers.

The junior class is well represented with seven spots on the roster, including newcomers Samantha Muston, Edricka Burns, Ansley Jenkins, Emily Norris and Lexi Robertson.

Sophomore Ikeria Green and freshmen De’Jhoria Robertston and Jasia Rubin will provide some much-needed help at point guard.

“The group we have returning and newcomers are an exciting group,” said McQuitter. “They all had valuable JV experience as well as some varsity game experience.”

“I am very excited about this team,” McQuitter said. “When we can get them all healthy, and in full form, I have high expectations for what we will be able to achieve.

“In the meantime, those players who are in the lineup now have to step up. This is a great opportunity for them to show what they can do and establish their role on the team.”

After losing to Cameron 49-29 Monday night, the Lady Tigers have opened the season 0-3.

Lady tiger file

Coach: Liz Galloway-McQuitter (6th
season, 44-98)
2011 record: 17-13.
District record: 4-6 (4th).
Returning starters: 3.
Key losses: Victoria Drake, Jill
Young.
Key returnees: Velma Mitchell (5-7,
So., G 15.8 ppg, 5.6 reb, 3.1 stls,
district newcomer of the year), Visha
Henderson (5-2, Sr., G), Shelby
Evans (6-1, Jr. P , 7.3 ppg, 4.5 reb),
Taylor Pickett (Jr., P).
Top newcomers: Samantha Muston
(5-10, Jr., P), Edricka Burns (Jr.,
G), Ansley Jenkins (Jr., G/F), Emily
Norris (Jr., G), Lexi Robertson (Jr., P),
Ikeria Green (So., G), De’Johria Robertson (Fr., F), Jasia Rubin (Fr., G).
Last playoff appearance: 2005.
Last winning season: 2012.


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