Dixon helps lead Strong to regional

Strong's Kennedi Dixon pulls down a rebound in action at Hampton this season. The Lady Bulldogs will play in the 1A 4 Regional Tournament Thursday at 7 p.m. in Emerson.
Strong's Kennedi Dixon pulls down a rebound in action at Hampton this season. The Lady Bulldogs will play in the 1A 4 Regional Tournament Thursday at 7 p.m. in Emerson.

What a difference a year makes. Strong’s girls didn’t make the postseason last year. This year, the Lady Bulldogs go into the regional tournament with a No. 2 seed.

One of the reasons for Strong’s 16-8 season was the play of senior Kennedi Dixon. 

“I have seen so much growth in Kennedi Dixon as a player and a leader on the court,” said Strong coach Melinda Champion. “In just about all of the games she has played this year, she has given her all. Her game has improved so much this year.”

Dixon has stepped up consistently as the Lady Bulldogs’ high-scoring double-double machine. The 5-foot-11 forward has averaged 21.6 points per game this season.

“This year I think I have been playing reasonably,” Dixon said. “Having 20-plus points a game is great, but as a captain, I try to get the whole team involved.”

Dixon has shown the size to post up but this season her game has expanded, allowing her to take defensive rebounds coast-to-coast. Her off the dribble offense has given Strong another dimension.

“I tell her all the time, if she plays like I know she can it will be hard to stop her,” said Champion. “Kennedi has been our leading scorer for just about every game this year. The past couple of weeks other teams have been doubling up on her to try and shut her down. She usually scores 20-30 points a game; only a few have been under 20. Her teammates have done a great job by stepping up and taking some of the pressure off of her.”

Dixon has four games where she’s scored 30 or more points and four more where she’s scored at least 27. At this stage of the season, it’s not about individual statistics, however. 

“I believe this team could go to the state tournament this year,” said Dixon. “To reach this goal, it will take hard work and dedication in practice and correcting our little mistakes.”

Strong will be a No. 2 seed in this week’s 1A 4 Regional Tournament at Emerson. The Lady Bulldogs will play Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Dixon hopes to lead the Lady Bulldogs into the postseason. She’s already made a plan for life after high school.

“I plan to attend college and become a Labor and Delivery Nurse,” she said.

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