Clewiston girls basketball team has high hopes

Special to The Clewiston News/Courtesy photo. Coach Alicia Bradberry is flanked by Shakayla Hankins (left) and Kayman Robinson (right).

Special to The Clewiston News/Courtesy photo
Coach Alicia Bradberry is flanked by Shakayla Hankins (left) and Kayman Robinson (right).

Coach Alisha Bradberry said she has high hopes for the Clewiston Lady Tiger basketball team this year.

The roster includes seniors Tameir Treadwell and Mya Mclemore and juniors Iyanna Robinson, Kayman Robinson, Shakayla Hankins, Mikalah Johnson, Sophia Connolly, Lauryn Varnum, Curtesha Midget and Alexis Perez.

Home games for the Lady Tigers include dates with Moore Haven on Dec. 6, Immokalee on Dec. 20, Okeechobee on Jan. 11, Glades Central on Jan. 18, Lake Placid on Jan. 24 and Avon Park on Jan. 27.

Coach Bradberry said she was glad to see the work ethic and the effort she has gotten from her players early in the season.

The team plays in District 5A-11 with Lincoln Park Academy and Glades Central. LPA won the district title last year and Clewiston was the runner up.

Coach Bradberry said she feels confident that the girls will be focused and produce the way she knows they can.

“Lincoln Park lost eight layers and we are more experienced and older and I believe we can take the district title,” she noted.

A big factor in the Tigers favor is the backcourt and leadership. Robinson and Hankins play well on both ends of the court and provide leadership. Treadwell is injured but is expected to be a big addition inside. Johnson also will provide a spark in the backcourt.

“We don’t have a lot of size on the roster but I think the backcourt is already established and solid,” Bradberry added.

She said Alexis Perez, a freshman, could be a nice addition in the post. She was a guard and facilitator at middle school but has the size to be a solid player inside.

“She was used to having the focus on her and being a facilitator at middle school. We will train her to play underneath the basket. She has a great future ahead of her.”

The team played aggressive defense last year and plan to continue that this year.

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Sophia Connolly has also started the season on the injured list but is expected to be at full strength in January.

Bradberry said the girls played with the program, College Bound, out of Ft. Myers. Glades resident James Sparkman assisted the team as they played a tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted a tournament in Clewiston, and played multiple tournaments in Ft. Myers.

She said the experience they gained in the travel ball league really assisted the team.

“They played a lot and the girls are faster and stronger. Mr. Sparkman’s heart is really to help these girls improve,” she noted.

Robinson said she felt the team picks each other up, tries hard, and has a lot of ability this year.

“I predict that we will have a good record. We have more talent and are more focused this year.”

Robinson said she tries to play hard on both ends of the court. She wants to limit her fouls, and become more of a leader this year.

“I feel my main role is to be a leader, pick up my teammates and play both ends of the court.”

Robinson also plays volleyball and softball for the Lady Tigers.

Hankins said she feels Clewiston can have a great season this year because the talent is there, “We are capable of going far but we have to listen to the coaches.

Hankins said he wants the girls to work hard to improve areas where they are weak. He said they also need to reach their potentials.

“As a point guard I want to pull my team together, let everyone feel comfortable, and to encourage my teammates to know that they can play well.”

She has played with Robinson since the sixth grade and the girls know each other’s games very well.

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“She knows how to read me and I know how to read her game. I think it is easier for us to pull up our team when we are behind.”

Hankins said her goal is to win the district title this year and make the town proud.

“I know we have it inside us and so do the coaches. I think the coaches have the patience to work with us.”

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