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Howard School basketball teams finish season
by Greg Oshust
March 19, 2013 04:10 PM | 1719 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo<br>Howard players Sara Kelly (32) and Crystal Grady (11) set up for a play during a game this past season.
Special Photo
Howard players Sara Kelly (32) and Crystal Grady (11) set up for a play during a game this past season.
The Howard School’s girls’ basketball team established itself as one of the best teams in the Atlanta Athletic Conference during the recently concluded 2012-13 season.

The Hawks, who were 10-12 overall, finished second in the AAC regular-season standings with a 7-3 league mark.

Howard also finished runner-up in the AAC tournament, losing to host Brandon Hall 36-22 in the championship game Feb. 15.

“It was a fantastic season,” Howard girls’ basketball coach Keith Spillett said. “The girls really, really learned how to play the game well and they had a lot of fun doing it. They were really a great group. Win or lose, they were really interested and engaged in the game. They had a great spirit and great energy to them and we won some pretty big games. It was a lot of fun.”

The Hawks featured a strong veteran core that mixed successfully with a group of promising younger players, according to Spillett.

“I’ve had a lot of these girls for a few years,” Spillett said. “They know a lot about the game and they play smart basketball — they have a good basketball IQ. We also have a lot of new players. We have some girls who never played before. It was a mix, a good mix, but one of the more experienced teams we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

Sophomore guard/forward Greer Corbett lead the team in scoring with about 12 points a game, while also averaging about eight rebounds and six steals per contest.

Corbett was among the four Howard players selected to the AAC All-Star girls’ team, joining senior guard Jasmine Fluker, junior guard/forward Katya Diamond, junior forward Persephone White and junior point guard Nadia Cluster.

Freshman forward Crystal Grady also played a key role for the Hawks.

The Howard boys’ basketball team struggled this season with a young and inexperienced lineup, going 3-18 overall and 1-9 in AAC play.

The young Hawks did show signs of improvement at the end as they lost a close 60-54 decision to Atlanta School for the Deaf in the first round of the AAC tournament at Brandon Hall Feb. 11.

“It was a tough season,” Howard boys’ coach Will Long said. “Four of my five starters had zero varsity experience, so that’s tough. It was a long haul, but we were in a lot of games. We just had trouble, down the stretch, finishing basketball games. But, you have to move on and learn from your mistakes and we certainly did that throughout the year. We grew throughout the year and that’s something that we can take away from this season.”

Six-foot guard/forward John Rumely was the lone Howard selection to the AAC All-Star boys’ team, while 5-11 junior guard Rashard Walker, 6-4 freshman center Adam Freeman, 5-9 freshman point guard Jonathan Barnette, 6-0 junior forward Ryan Turner, 6-2 forward Daniel Nieman, 6-0 guard Shae Henzlik, 5-11 senior guard Graham Cane and 5-6 senior guard Jonathan Gordon were the other key players.

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