The Lee Lady Generals did something today that they have never done. They headed north on I65 (a number that represents only two more that the years Lee has been open) to compete in the state basketball Final Four. The Lady Generals will play what is essentially a home game for their opponent, Spain Park.
One might say that it has been a bit of a dry spell for the Lady Generals, but 63 years is quite a wait. What many outside of Montgomery don’t know is that if it were not for a school on the other side of I85 (ok, JD), the Lady Generals would have made this trip several times in the past five years. Coach Smith has had the team on the brink of the Final Four and as an old football coach used to say, just couldn’t kick the door down. The 2017 – 2018 season has proven to be the year.
Prior to entering area play, the Lady Generals boasted one of the toughest schedules in the state. They played top ranked teams and players from Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama. Those games have shown Lee what it takes to compete on a consistent basis and high level. They started the season with a highly touted player in the #7 ranked senior guard in the country (who outplayed the #1 ranked junior guard in the country) in Zipporah Broughton. Zippy has grown into the leadership role as the season has progressed and pushed fellow teammates such as Niya Crawford and Dalayiah Crawford along with Gail Whiting, Diamond Williams and others to work on reaching their potential. Last and probably the most important contribution has been the dedication of Faith Fantroy to put in the effort that was expected of her. The result have been an inside presence that the Lady Generals have looked for year in and year out.
The Lady Generals honored several seniors this year but have received important minutes from underclass as well. Niya Crawford, Gail Whiting, Tamia Blair, Nyanna Reese, Ty Brown, and “Blue” Smith. Often these five have been on the floor together holding things together. There have been times this year that virtually every member of the team has been counted on to complete a piece of the puzzle. They have seldom let anyone down.
Now it is on to new and exciting times. Lee Nation needs to head up the interstate and get behind these student-athletes. For those that have seen them play, you know that someone is going to do something that will be talked about for the next several years. A three point bomb, a spinning layup, a defensive play that leaves the opponent glued to the floor, or a three or four on one fast break that results in several exciting passes. One game…one game, and it is time to play for a map. You could say you were there when it happened. Don’t be late.