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Pirates ready to compete in NAC

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WENDELL — The strength of the Corinth Holders girls basketball team lies in its variety.

The Pirates won’t rely on one player to carry the team night after night, but will instead look to the additions each player brings to the table to lead the team toward success.

“I think one of our biggest strengths is we bring a really balanced game,” head coach Shannon Lee said. “I’ve got a lot of players that can step up on any given night. I’m really excited to see them gel and be able to form that cohesive unit that we can go out there and be very balanced on the floor.”

Senior Deonna Adams will be the point guard for the team, or “engine” as Lee put it, while junior Crawford Ramsey is poised to unveil a new postgame after a summer of working hard in the gym and getting stronger.

Senior Abbie Byrd will be a physical rebounder for the Pirates, while junior transfer Alyssa Dixon brings a defensive presence and quickness that will push the pace of the offense.

When all combined together, a roster of 13 that boasts some increased height hopes to find a way to be more competitive in the 4-A Northern Athletic Conference after a 1-9 run last season.

“We’re really looking to put a little respect on our names, and on our school and team and really be competitive,” Lee said. “Really challenge a lot of these power teams that we have to go against.”

Lee said her team will take on the identity of being “trouble” for its opponents ahead. That begins when the Pirates take on Clayton on Nov. 18 in the season-opener.

Corinth Holders boys expect a ‘surprising year’

After losing 18-straight to finish out last season, the Corinth Holders boys basketball team is looking to exceed expectations when it returns to the floor.

“We’re going to surprise a lot of people with how hard we play,” second-year head coach James Jenkins predicted. “And hopefully just be able to make some shots and go down the stretch being able to win a whole lot of games.”

Last season, the Pirates struggled down the stretch and lost many of their games after halftime in the third and fourth quarter, Jenkins said. This time around, the team is looking to break that trend with more experience under its belt.

“We competed in a major way last year, but we lost a lot of games right at the third or start of the fourth quarter. ... “ Jenkins said. “Just being older and having a second year in the system we like to run in, the expectations are pretty high that we can compete and make it to the state playoffs.”

The group tasked with bouncing back will be a veteran-heavy core of nine seniors that have learned from the lows of last season.

Jenkins identified 6-foot guard Marcus Bland, senior combo guard Justin Stephens and 6-foot-4 win Jacob Poole as key returners, with Stephens likely to be the team’s leading scorer.

The task of responding to a 5-20 season isn’t the preferred situation, but the Pirates are ready to prove this season will be different.

“It’s going to be a surprising year for most people,” Jenkins said. “They’re going to be surprised about what we’re going to accomplish.”