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Hiram follows first-year coach’s plan to success
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
January 23, 2013 02:15 PM | 1491 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hiram player Jamal Hines warms up during a recent practice.
Hiram player Jamal Hines warms up during a recent practice.
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The Hiram boys’ basketball team got a new head coach, grasped on to his system and is seeing more success than last year.

First-year head coach Darius Hodge said he feels good about the way the season is going and admits he didn’t expect it.

“It’s going pretty well, better than I thought it would. As a new head coach, it’s usually going to be ups and downs, having to adjust right away, but they followed our philosophy and we’ve done well,” Hodge said.

The Hornets stood at 13-7 last week. They had a tough first half of the season as they played the majority of their games before the new year, a setup Hodge said was done before he came to the program.

“The schedule was already together when I got it. It was jam packed in the front end which was not really a good thing then, but it’s good now that we have some space in between games,” Hodge said.

In the last three weeks of their schedule, Hiram will only play five regular season games.

The Hornets currently have three top scorers averaging double digits — Reed Dungan, Lenard Foster and Isaac Williams.

Dungan is a 6-foot senior point guard, averaging 10.6 points a night. Foster is a 6-foot-7 senior power forward, averaging 11.7 and Williams is a 6-foot-4 senior shooting guard and small forward, averaging 19.7.

The top defenders for the team are juniors Kervins Chaumette and Cody Williams. Chaumette is a 5-foot-6 point guard averaging 2.5 steals a night, while Williams is a 5-foot-10 small forward, averaging 6.5 rebounds and “numerous deflections.”

With his new team, Hodge said he noticed its strength is the versatility of his players on the court.

“We’re very versatile. We can match up with anyone and lots of our players can rotate on the floor,” Hodge said.

For the last five games of the regular season, Hodge said he would like to end on a positive note, finish No. 1 in their sub region and put themselves in a “great position” for a competitive spot in the state tournament.

After building a program at his previous school, Langston Hughes, for three years, Hodge said he has fallen in love with Hiram and is making sure people know not to take this program lightly.

“Any time people play Hiram they know they’ll have to play hard. We want to make people work to get anything out of Hiram,” said Hodge.
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