“Right now that is a good place for us to be in. We’re trying to find ourselves. We’re starting four freshmen and I have eight on my varsity roster, but they’re talented and I’m pleased,” said head coach Michelle Caldwell.
Over the Thanksgiving break, Hiram lost to Riverdale, 38-31, but came back and defeated North Springs, 54-7, and Washington, 49-13. After returning to school, they fell to Allatoona, 62-40.
The Lady Hornets lost seven seniors last year off a team that went 21-5.
Six-foot center Jayda Dooley, 5-foot-11 forward Miranda McClure, 5-foot-5 guard Lakerra Partridge and 5-foot-5 guard Taylor Simmons are the four starting freshmen, playing alongside 5-foot-6 senior shooting guard Savannah Jordan.
Jordan is the leading scorer for Hiram as she averages 11 points a game.
Simmons, according to Caldwell, is the team’s top defensive player on the ball. Caldwell described her as fast and said she is always matched against the other team’s best guard.
While the majority of the team is underclassmen, Caldwell said they do have experience.
“Most of them came up through my [middle school] program so they have experience playing together; they just have to get used to the speed of varsity level ball. They’re having to adjust on the fly,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell said there are two major strengths that benefit her team — speed and chemistry.
“They have a lot of speed and they used that to their advantage. They can push the ball up the court faster than most teams can get back. … They have great chemistry off the court and it really helps them work together off the court,” Caldwell said.
The team is trying to learn the right pace for varsity level play when it comes to their offense and fast break situations. It will take the Hornets some time to get it together, but Caldwell is confident that by the end of the season, they will get the idea and be a major contender in the years to come as they grow.
“The future looks bright for our team, especially with the eighth graders coming in next year,” said Caldwell.