The Shelton State Lady Buccaneers, ranked #3 in the preseason NJCAA Division I poll, will look to make it three straight ACCC Championships, as well as a third consecutive NJCAA Final Four appearance during the 2017-2018 season. They return a strong core of six sophomores and have added six talented freshmen.
Cierra Johnson returns at point guard after a very successful freshman campaign that saw her take home Region 22 Player of the Year, ACCC Tournament MVP, and NJCAA 1st Team All-American honors. Guards Dana Echols and Savannah Reier join her in the backcourt after having contributed greatly to the success of last season, especially at the national tournament. Jordan LeNoir has done nothing but get better and will be counted on to have a much bigger role at the guard/forward spot. Margaret Robinson has also worked hard in the off season, and although she played significant minutes last season, she could be that breakout player in the conference. At the center position, Ashley Scott will look to control things in the paint and be a force on the offensive end.
Those sophomores will lead six talented, but raw, freshmen into the season. Ataiyah Bridges (Lanette, AL) will look for time at the point guard spot, while Tiyah Johnson (Phenix City, AL) and Briana Trigg (Tampa, FL) follow up on the wings. Bri's twin, Ayanna Trigg (Tampa, FL) should see time at forward. At center, Kendall Johnson (Hokes Bluff, AL) and Alesia Bonner (Tuscaloosa, AL) are improving and gaining confidence.
The road will not be easy for the Lady Buccaneers. In addition to the tough conference play, Shelton State will take on perennial Tennessee power #11 Walters State and Region 23 winner from Mississippi #9 Jones County in home and home games. They will also take on two time defending national champion #1 Gulf Coast State in December. This version of the Lady Buccaneers has a chance to do some great things, but it will take lots of hard work and being at their best every day.