Basketball season has arrived, and the Trinity Baptist College Lady Eagles have already begun preparing for the new season. Practice sessions have started, and coach Judy Allen takes the reign as the team’s head coach this year. Allen leads last year’s South Region semifinal participants, and she expects even more success this season.
Last year, the Eagles’ roster consisted of two seniors and 10 freshmen. Julianna Calice, the South Region’s leading scorer and Division 2’s #2 scorer, and Teisa Keith, one of the region’s top rebounders, have graduated, but the returning players now have a year of college basketball experience under their belts. It is still a very young team of freshmen and sophomores, but junior guard Shay Jackson has experience, and Coach Allen sees progress in the team’s development.
The Eagles finished 7-5 in the South Region and advanced to the tournament semifinal after defeating Toccoa Falls College 56-47 in the opening round. Calice and Ta’Naisa Pasters made the All-Region team.
Key Returning Players
Diamond Alford returns at small forward, and Shaina Hill is a strong shooting guard. Both can hit from the outside, including three-point range. Sophomore Jessica Silva is a defender and a rebounder who can also find the Eagles’ scorers on the offensive side of the court.
Toughest part of schedule
The first half will prove tough as the Eagles play a number of NAIA teams, and they will do so without some key players, who will return in January. NAIA opponents include, Warner University, University of Mobile, and Georgia Northwestern Technical Institute. Florida College of the USCAA is always tough, and the Falcons will likely move into the NAIA next season.
The Eagles also play 11 of 13 games between November 21 and January 23 on the road.
South Region Opponents
The Eagles will compete in a very competitive South Region, which contains Bob Jones University, Pensacola Christian College, Toccoa Falls College, and Trinity College of Florida. The Eagles won their quarterfinal game last year and advanced to the semifinal round.
Coach Allen also says that the South Region has “an excellent group of coaches.”
Biggest challenge preparing for the season
A number of the players are also on the Eagles volleyball team, so they will fulfill their commitments to volleyball before transitioning to basketball court. Volleyball season continues into early November, and the playoffs follow soon afterward.
Sharing the gym with the men and the Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors’ six junior and senior high teams makes getting gym time difficult for practice, but Coach Allen and her Eagles use this adversity as a way to prepare for the tough schedule ahead when options are even more limited.
Coach Allen expressed her #1 sentiment in leading the Lady Eagles throughout the season on and off the court. She says, “Keep God first in all we do as we enter His courts with Praise.”
Games Begin November 2
The Lady Eagles’ first games are in the Eagles Tip-Off Classic on November 2 and 3. The Eagles play Blue Light College on November 2 at 7:00 p.m. EST and Georgia Northwestern Technical Institute on November 3 at 5:30.