The Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels basketball team, considering it finished a game short of making the state tournament the last two seasons and returns all of its players, will be considered a serious contender to make the final four in Nashville next February.
Their new coach, Cedric Anderson, definitely knows what it takes to get to state. He coached the TRA boys to the state title game last season. This year he will coach the TRA boys and girls after getting the girls’ job last month.
“I’m excited for the season,” said Anderson, who has coached girls in AAU and at Arlington and Highland Oaks middle schools. “We have a good group of girls who are hard workers with various skill sets and they’re all very intelligent, committed and disciplined. Every player from last year’s team is back, so that’s a pretty good situation.”
Last season the Lady Rebels went 25-5, setting a school record for wins, before losing to Knoxville Webb in a sub-state game on the road.
During the offseason Cameron Pridemore, who coached the Lady Rebels the last three seasons, resigned to take a head coaching job at Christian Academy in Louisville.
He leaves behind a very talented roster that includes 1,000-point scorers Megan Sanfratello and Abby West plus Brianna Hall, Brittany Hall, Emily West and Jordan Allen.
Coaching high school boys’ and girls’ basketball teams can get complicated logistically. As soon as the girls’ game ends the boys hit the court, which does not allow the head coach to give the boys a pre-game talk.
“We’re going to have to manage it and get adjusted to it,” Anderson said. Pre-game talk is something I’m concerned about. We’ll have a game plan in place before the game. We’ll have to make sure we get a lot more done in practice.”
Anderson has three sons, all of who have been very successful basketball players. Andrew Anderson graduated last year from TRA and signed with South Alabama. C.J. Anderson played at the University of Massachusetts and professionally. Alex Anderson will be a junior this year at TRA and is being heavily recruited.
And, by the way, Ava Anderson, Cedric’s daughter, will be a freshman on the TRA girls’ team this season. She began playing organized basketball two years ago.
“She’s been in the gym so many times she decided ‘if I’m going to spend some time with dad I gotta go play some basketball,’” Anderson said with a laugh.