November 18, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
The DeKalb County Tigers and Lady Tigers will tip off the 2020-21 basketball campaign with two nights of Hall of Fame games on Tuesday and Saturday, November 17 & 21.
Whitehouse comes to town Tuesday night, November 17 with girls action beginning at 6 p.m. followed by the boys showdown at DCHS. The Tigers and Lady Tigers will then travel to Pickett County on Saturday night, November 21 starting with girls play at 5 p.m. followed by the boys.
In a WJLE Tiger Talk video interview Friday , Lady Tiger Coach Danny Fish talked about the pre-season and how the team has had to contend with COVID-19. (WJLE will post a video interview with Tiger Coach John Sanders on Sunday)
“We have been following the guidelines that were set in June and started conditioning in September when we got back in school. We were lifting and working in groups of three and then we hit a snag in October when a couple of players tested positive for COVID-19. We (team) were at home for 18 school days in the month of October which made it hard for us to train and we missed the first four days of official practice in November but we have been having two-a-days since then. The girls have had good energy and a good work ethic in those practices and I feel pretty confident in where we are at today. We will have a learning curve at the beginning of the year but I think we will come out and play some exciting basketball,” said Coach Fish
Last year’s Lady Tiger team compiled an 18-15 record and a semi-finals finish in the Region Tournament led by seniors Mya Ruch, Emme Colwell, Kenzie France, and Megan Walker.
Coach Fish will be looking to the four seniors on this year’s team to follow in their footsteps.
“We have four seniors. Megan Cantrell was our best 6th man last year. I expect her to have a good year. She has really grown in her leadership and skill level which I hope will translate to the floor. Grace Griffin is coming back. She came off the bench last year. I am expecting good things from Grace. Hannah Willingham was our backup point guard last year and she will contribute and Ellie Cripps is back with us this year. She has been a good team member for us,” said Coach Fish.
As for the juniors, “Everybody is wanting to know what Kadee Ferrell is going to do this year. I think she is going to be healthy and will have a good year. That Junior Class also includes Natalie Snipes, Summer Crook, and Kennedy Agee but she (Agee) is down with an ACL again. The Sophomore Class includes Madison Martin. We are expecting some good play from her and Xharia Lyons has also come along. Our Freshman Class is large and looks good. I think we will have at least a couple of freshmen like Ella VanVranken and Cadee Griffith that will probably get a lot of playing time. The rest are doing developmental work to be ready when those seniors graduate. I like the energy of our team and their consistency and effort in practice. That makes me think we’re going to have a pretty good year,” Coach Fish continued.
With so many teams in the district returning experienced players from last year, Coach Fish knows the task for his team will be challenging.
“There are a lot of unknowns for us. Macon County is ranked pre-season as 4th in the state and they are returning most of their team. Upperman is a pre-season number 1 and they are returning everybody. Livingston Academy returns everybody and so does Smith County and York Institute. It seems everybody is returning everybody except for us and Cannon County,” he said.
“Our style of play will be a little bit different this year because we are more athletic than we were last year. The group last year was more of a physical, bruising team. This year we have a lot of kids who can run and get up and down the floor. It should be exciting. I will be interested to see how we come out. The question is are we going to be able to finish off games because in District 8AA that is what you have to do especially on the road. That experience is what we have been missing over the last couple of years with girls who played so many minutes and have graduated. That experience of being on the floor in crunch time is what we are missing. There will be some ups and downs but by the end of the year I believe we will be right where we need to be,” said Coach Fish
With Covid-19 still a threat, Coach Fish understands there is no guarantee the season will go according to schedule
“Hopefully we can stay healthy. I know the girls and their parents are doing everything they can to make sure our kids have a season this year. We can’t take things for granted. We may be here one day and then be off for two weeks if something happens. Its going to be a roller coaster,” he said.
Because of the pandemic, attendance will have to be limited.
“We’re looking at about 330 people in attendance. We sold season tickets to our parents and it will be opened up to the public per day according to however many tickets can be allotted. We will follow the rules and be at no more than 33% gym capacity. If we are in compliance that gives our kids the best chance to play,” added Coach Fish.
The 2020-21 DCHS Basketball Schedule is as follows:
(*) denotes District 8 AA games.
(^) denotes Region 4 AA games
Game times listed start with girls game followed by boys contest
Tuesday, November 17: White House (Hall of Fame)- Home- 6 p.m.
Saturday, November 21: Pickett County (Hall of Fame)-Away- 5 p.m.
Monday, November 23: Warren County-Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, November 24: Red Boiling Springs- Home- 6 p.m.
Saturday, November 28: ^Grundy County-Away- 6 p.m.
Monday, November 30: ^Sequatchie County-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, December 4: *York Institute- Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, December 8: *Livingston Academy- Away- 6 p.m.
Friday, December 11: *Watertown- Home- 6 p.m.
Thursday, December 17-Saturday, December 19: Sonic Shootout (boys and girls)- Sparta- TBA
Tuesday, January 5: Warren County-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, January 8: *Cannon County-Away- 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 9: ^Sequatchie County-Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 12: *Upperman-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, January 15: *Macon County-Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 19: *Smith County-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, January 22: *York Institute- Home- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 26: *Livingston Academy- Home-6 p.m.
Friday, January 29: *Watertown- Away- 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 30: ^Grundy County-Home- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, February 2: *Cannon County-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, February 5: *Upperman- Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9: *Macon County- Home- 6 p.m. (Senior Night)
Thursday, February 11: *Smith County- Away- 6 p.m.
Friday, February 12: Red Boiling Springs-Away-6 p.m.
Lady Tiger Roster:
Megan Cantrell- Guard- Senior
Managers: Elisabeth Seber, Jenna Wright, Zoe Cripps, and Maleah Ruch. Assistant Coaches, Maddison Parsley and Hanah Panter. Head Coach Danny Fish.
Managers- Aiden Whitman, Brayden Summers, Courtney London, and Summer Pedigo. Head Coach John Sanders. Assistant Coaches Logan Vance and Seth Hackett.
DCHS Basketball Cheerleaders
Presley Agee-Senior Captain
Makayla Cook-Junior Co-Captain
McKenzie Pack-Junior Co-Captain