No variable specified
Redan girls flying high
by Bobby Tedder
January 23, 2013 10:49 AM | 2375 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>
Redan sophomore Jaylen Brown, left, defends sophomore Keyontae Jones during a practice drill.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Redan sophomore Jaylen Brown, left, defends sophomore Keyontae Jones during a practice drill.
The Redan Lady Raiders can say they have been there and done that in recent years.

A national ranking. An 83-15 record during coach Jerry Jackson’s tenure. A pair of region titles. A 60-plus game win streak.

So, this season’s success hasn’t exactly caught Lady Raiders insiders off-guard.

To the contrary. The team, courtesy of its hot start, is looking to stay on a roll at this pivotal point in the season.

“As a coach, you try to take it one game at a time and get everybody to buy into that mindset,” Jackson said. “We’re just trying to keep that momentum, keep [players] humble and focused.”

“This is a good group,” he added. “I think they’ve played enough basketball to know how to do it …”

The Lady Raiders (13-1) return all five starters — all now juniors — from a squad that went 19-10 and reached the first round of GHSA state tournament play.

Brea Elmore, averaging 19 points per game, has been a force both at the 1 and on the wing. Forward Jada Byrd has been solid, as has shooting guard Destini McClary. Senior forward Fa’Tia Sams, the tallest player on the roster at 5 foot 11, is yet another bright spot for Redan this go-round.

The team got off to a rousing 11-0 start in their 2012-13 campaign before getting thumped by reigning Class 4-A titlist Columbia back on Jan. 11.

It didn’t take long for Redan to rebound from that loss. A thorough dismantling of Lithonia the following day and then Stone Mountain three days later are proof of that.

This year’s squad, mostly populated by “long, lanky, athletic” players hovering around 5 feet 8, can now add resilience to its ever-evolving team identity as a result.

Jackson credits the program’s status as a talent mill for preparing his current crop of standouts for their moment in the limelight.

“These girls have played behind some great players and I think they benefitted from it,” he said. “They come in fresh … they’ve seen how things operate, so they’re just keeping everything going.”

Speaking of which: these Lady Raiders will get a prime opportunity for redemption when they host Columbia on Feb. 1.

Until then, expect them to stick to their coach’s in-season philosophy.

“Preparing one game at a time — that’s what it’s all about,” said Jackson. “We’ve had winning streaks before … as a coaching staff, we’ve got to keep [our players] from looking too far ahead.”

Upcoming games:

 Friday vs. Grady (H)

 Saturday at Marist.

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides