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Youthful experience dominates Hiram
by Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
November 20, 2013 11:17 AM | 748 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Hiram sophomore Lakerra Partridge lines up a shot during practice last week.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Hiram sophomore Lakerra Partridge lines up a shot during practice last week.
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With eight freshmen on the roster, including four in the starting lineup, the Hiram girls’ basketball team fielded one of the youngest teams in Georgia last year. However, after finishing the season with a .500 record in Region 5-AAAAA, the Hornets have optimism heading into this season’s campaign.

“Normally you would be down about finishing around .500 but it was a good thing because those players got playing time and experience,” head coach Michelle Caldwell said. “We hope to build on that for this season.”

“The preseason has been going really well and we’re ready to start the season,” senior Breondra Steele said.

The Hornets have a guard-heavy unit with sophomores Amari Price, Taylor Simmons and Lakerra Partridge expected to see significant playing time. Simmons led the team in steals with 56 and Partridge shot 70 percent on free throws and made the most three-pointers on the team last season.

Sophomore center Jayla Dooley, who had nearly six rebounds per contest last year along with a team-high 40 blocks, returns as well.

“She’s gotten stronger and better this offseason,” Caldwell said. “People will be surprised of how well she’ll play this year.”

Forward Macey McBrayer will see time in the post positions as well.

The experiences of last season were felt by the entire roster.

“It was hectic playing at the varsity level at first,” Partridge said. “But we’ve been playing together and bonding with the older players came naturally.”

Steele said, “It’s challenging incorporating younger players into varsity because they each have different personalities. They’re good people and we work well together on the court.”

Caldwell said, “Last year required patience but my philosophy of stressing fundamentals stays the same. I set the bar high for them and this group aims to reach it.”

The Hornets open the season on Saturday against Redan in Mableton.

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