Natchez girls basketball coming together with each other, new coach

Published 11:45 pm Monday, November 20, 2017

In her first year as head coach, Natchez High School’s ShaRhonda Gipson has already earned the trust of her players.

The Lady Bulldogs have started this season 2-0, and Gipson said she likes what she sees.

“I have a good group of girls, and they don’t mind me correcting them,” Gipson said, “They are coachable, and that’s always good to see. It’s really good for them to accept me and buy into the program. With us starting out 2-0, they really are buying in.”

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Gipson previously served as an assistant for the Lady Bulldogs from 2009-2012. Since her return, she has had no reservations.

Having won MHSAA Class 5A state championships in 2014 and 2015, Gipson said she wants her team to shoot for nothing less.

“That’s our main goal at all times,” she said. “We practice and think like champions all the time. They do know that we have the potential to do what we want to do.”

As the beginning of the season continues, Gipson said she hopes not only her bond with the players strengthens, but also the bond between each other.

Natchez is lead by five seniors but Gipson said there is still a great deal of youth.

One of its leading scorers Aja Carter is a junior.

“I really like that there is a variety in my starters. I’ve got seniors and a junior and two sophomores,” she said. “Even with five seniors, I have a young team. I want them to grow as a team and grow as a family.

“We aren’t exactly playing in sync right now. We are still learning each other. The more game we play, it’s helping them to know each other.”

It’s biggest test so far this season, Gipson said, will come against rival Jefferson County on Nov. 30.

“It will really show me how we can move because I know they have some pretty big girls,” she said. “It will also definitely show me what we need to work on.”

Though the Lady Bulldogs have a group of rising players Gipson will have to look after, she doesn’t think it’s necessarily bad.

“One advantage I see is in the long run. It will really, really help them to have varsity experience,” she said. “As far as this year, it will be my speed. I don’t have height, but we do have speed and quickness.”

If anything, Gipson said she is excited to see how her team develops.

The Lady Bulldogs will play next on Nov. 28 when they host Vidalia.

“I jut want the starters to be the leaders of the floor and set the tone for the game — give it their all,” she said. “If they can’t get the job done, I do have some on the bench that are ready and eager to go in.”