Hubbard leads young, but talented group of Missy Gators

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

[11/3/03]The good news for the Vicksburg High girls basketball team is that Tiffany Hubbard is back for her senior season.

The bad news, however, is that she’s the only starter and senior on the team. VHS may start up to three sophomores this season, and one to watch out for is Kristin Ellis.

“We’ve got a good young bunch and it’s been fun coaching them so far,” Coleman said. “They’re very coachable, more coachable probably than any team I’ve had since I’ve been here. And they’ve worked super-hard.

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“To me those two things, that’s what turns you into a good team.”

Last season, Vicksburg finished 17-13 and bowed out to Warren Central in the first round of the division tournament.

Despite the heavy losses, this year’s group may be the quickest, most athletic Missy Gators squad in Coleman’s 5-year tenure.

“I’m expecting to be better. That’s just me,” he said. “I expect good things this year, I really do, if the kids continue to work like they’ve been working in our preseason practice here. I’m looking for big things.”

Those big things will begin and end with Hubbard, who is debating a commitment to Memphis or Southern Miss in the fall. Hubbard led the Missy Gators last season with 13.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game, earning a spot on the Vicksburg Post All-County team.

Coleman enjoys having a player like Hubbard who can man any position on the floor. Ordinarily a power forward or center, Hubbard was forced to play point guard for her freshman team, and she led them to win the Little Six championship.

“She can play just about any position on the floor, and she’s worked real hard at her game to improve her outside shooting this summer,” Coleman said, adding that Hubbard has a better all-around game than she had last year. “She’s about like a coach on the floor really. If somebody’s out of position, she can get them there real quick when she’s out on the floor. She’s showed great leadership.”

And Hubbard thinks it’s important for her to bring leadership to this green team.

“I look at myself as a leader, but most of them know what they’re supposed to do,” Hubbard said. “I’m just there to be that person that pushes them to be more than what they can be.”

When Hubbard looks at her young teammates, she can see the potential for great things.

“We have a lot of days where it doesn’t seem like everybody’s playing their best,” she said. “On days when we do, it seems like we have a state champ team to me. But we’ll see at the end.”