Claiming the Region 6-AAAAA crown and GHSA state title are the Lady Jaguars’ ultimate objectives. Easier said than done, though.
Such is life when the toughest foes in your region — Miller Grove and Southwest DeKalb — happen to also be the state standard bearers in your girls’ hoops classification. Miller Grove is the reigning 5-A state champ, having climbed over runner-up Southwest DeKalb to reach that summit.
“We play in a tough region — we’ve got our hands full,” said Lady Jaguars coach Dennis Watkins.
The Lady Jaguars, 4-0 thus far, are seeking a return to the playoffs. The 2012 roster suggests they have the talent to do just that and more.
Division I recruit Kaliyah Mitchell’s versatile inside-outside game will mesh well with that of shooting guard Kyana Johnson. The seniors have teamed up to lead Watkins’ scrappy squad in points, rebounds and assists during its fast start. The team is also getting contributions from a talented pool of supporting players.
The Lady Jaguars, boasting forwards adept at ball handling, have done so on the back of its fluid motion offense — whereby all five players gets their touches — and disciplined man-to-man defense.
Stephenson owns lopsided wins over Rockdale County, Dutchtown, Drew and Fayette County this season. The Lady Jaguars’ first big test came this week in the form of a Nov. 27 home game against Miller Grove.
Watkins and company know a litmus test when they see one — it’s the same they had to face last season.
“We’ve got to come to play every night in this region,” The Lady Jaguars coach said. “It’s going to be a dogfight, can’t take anybody for granted.
“There are no nights off … with Miller Grove and Southwest DeKalb here, we’ve got to work to do every night.”