From the start, Physical Education Teacher and Girls Basketball Coach Joy Moers anticipated an outstanding season. As a second-year coach, she welcomed new team members as well as all players from the previous year. Drills were a fundamental aspect of their practice sessions, aimed at building stronger skill sets. On the locker room blackboard, Moers ensured that every player knew the win/loss record for each game along with underlined text for the season record, and relevant statistics. After every game, team members added their chalk marks to the board. She believes that the post-game huddles served as the greatest motivator and increased team spirits ten-fold!
Moers went on to explain, "After our first easy victory, we knew we could go far this season." The Lady Dragons won four straight games before losing to a district team. One of the biggest boosts in district games was winning against St. Joseph Academy by one point. FSDB had not beaten the Flashes since 1994. "During that game, our girls did not panic and continued playing strongly with high passion. We led for most of the game, and at one time we were ahead by 12 points," said Moers.
In December, the Lady Dragons traveled to the Alabama School for the Deaf for the Hackney Classic Tournament. FSDB took home the trophy by beating Georgia School for the Deaf (40-11), Alabama School for the Deaf (44-10) and the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (44-11). These victories were chalked up in the locker room when they returned to campus.
With a record of 15-5, the Lady Dragons were awarded the first-place seed at the 42nd Annual Mason-Dixon Girls Basketball Tournament, hosted by FSDB.
"Throughout the competition, our girls had this in their minds: 'It’s our home; we will win the championship trophy,'" said Moers.
The girls played hard with passion, a high level of motivation, and excellent sportsmanship. In the first game of the tournament, FSDB faced off against the Louisiana School for the Deaf, Coach Moers' alma mater. It was an easy 49-6 win. In the second game, the Lady Dragons took on an experienced Tennessee School for the Deaf team who bolstered five seniors and had eliminated FSDB in last year's tournament. The Lady Dragons came away with a 43-29 win, propelling them into the Championship Game.
The final game would match FSDB against the Mississippi School for the Deaf (MSD), who beat them by 20 points last year. The MSD players fully expected they would win their fourth consecutive Mason-Dixon championship. Lo and behold, FSDB surprised them with a much-improved defense and offense maneuverings. After the third quarter, the Lady Dragons led by 23 points before they were slowed down. Mississippi narrowed down the lead in the fourth quarter to four points. Olivia Brown made two clutch free throws in the final seconds to hang on to the lead and win the game 59-52. Lourdine Jordonne and Ja’Myra Harris received All-Tournament recognition, with Olivia Brown as the Most Valuable Player.
Moers said, "Winning the championship was our biggest joy, and everyone on the team including the coaches and managers had the chance to cut the basketball net. Wow, what a glorious experience this was for our girls!"
The Lady Dragons went on to win ten games in a row including its first district playoff game. In the regular season, they lost to Bishop Snyder by one point, and then they beat them by nine points in our first playoff game - quite an accomplishment! During the semifinals, however, the Lady Dragons lost to University Christian - a larger team with more experienced (and recruited) players, giving the FSDB girls no chance of winning. Still, the overall season was an excellent experience, and the last loss did not discourage them - instead, they became motivated because they saw a lot of areas for improvement and could think of ways to play better next year. "It’s preliminary," the girls told Coach Moers, "but we will be back, better, and stronger next year!"
2018-2019 Team Statistics
GP = Games Played
PPG = Points Per Game
PTS = Total Points Scored
FTM = Total Free Throws Made
RPG = Rebounds Per Game
REB = Total Rebounds
APG = Assists Per Game
AST = Total Assists
STPG = Steals Per Game
STL = Total Steals
BLKPG = Blocks Per Game
BLK = Total Blocks
Olivia Brown (Fr) – 11.7 PPG (305 PTS, 26 GP)
Lourdine Jordonne (So) – 11.8 PPG (294 PTS, 25 GP)
Oceana Brown (8th) – 4.5 PPG (118 PTS, 26 GP)
Ja'Myra Harris (So) – 3.3 PPG (83 PTS, 25 GP)
Keliah Williams (So) – 3.0 PPG (78 PTS, 26 GP)
Lourdine Jordonne (So) – 56 FTM (56%)
Samantha Suarez (Jr) – 6 FTM (37.5%)
Kayla Debrow (6th) – 3 FTM (37.5%
Olivia Brown (Fr) – 19 FTM (33.9 %)
Oceana Brown (8th) – 9 FTM (32.1%)
Lourdine Jordonne (So) – 10.72 RPG (268 REB, 25 GP)
Olivia Brown (Fr) – 4.27 RPG (111 REB, 26 GP)
Keliah Williams (So) – 3.96 RPG (103 PTS, 26 GP)
Olivia Brown (Fr) – 3.58 APG (93 AST)
Oceana Brown (8th) – 1.77 APG (46 AST)
Lourdine Jordonne (So) – 1.00 APG(25 AST)
Ja’Myra Harris (So) – 0.84 APG (21 AST)
Olivia Brown (Fr) – 4.77 STPG (124 STL, 26 GP) (NEW SCHOOL RECORD - The previous record was by Jazzmin Washington, Class of 2012, with 104 in 2012.)
Oceana Brown (8th) – 4.38 STPG (114 STL, 26 GP) (NEW SCHOOL RECORD - 2nd)
Lourdine Jordonne (So) – 2.96 STPG (74 STL, 25 GP)
Ja’Myra Harris (Fr) – 1.69 STPG (44 STL, 25 GP)
Taria Pellicer (So) – 1.58 STPG (38 STL, 24 GP)
Oceana Brown (8th) – 0.88 BLKPG (23 BLK, 26 GP)
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit www.fsdbk12.org