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Flying Squadron continues to improve, readies to challege Red Level tonight

By: Elizabeth Ruckel

The Flying Squadron basketball teams recently made the trip to Georgiana to play the Class 1A Region 3 Panthers.  The Squadron hit a roadblock in their encouraging streak of productive outings.

The Squadron boys have managed to string together a few wins, while the Lady Squadron have improved vastly in every outing.

HHS head coach, Shawn Sellers says, “They are one of the top teams in the state and we are going to work to get to the place where Georgiana is.”

Highland Home’s leading scorer, sophomore point guard Donaven Roberson, led the team with 12 points in the first half. Roberson’s leadership on the court helped his team stay up throughout the first half.

The Panthers of Georgiana proved to be too strong on this night in their home arena. Coming home with a loss was a disappointment but not discouraging.

The Flying Squadron was already coming up with new ways to come out on top.

“We can either choose not to win and keep the score down or we can go after it. Our Highland Home boys are going to get after it every time,” says Sellers.

Junior Jala Merriweather was the top scorer for the Lady Squadron’s match up against the Lady Panthers.

“We have had a great couple of days at practice. I feel like the team is gaining confidence in each other,” said HHS Head Girls Coach Mendy Avant.

“Anyone with a good basketball program knows that it takes a lot of time and dedication to get a good program going, but I feel as if these girls and I are on the right track,” says Avant.

The Flying Squadron also hosted a game against the Kinston Bulldogs last week.

After two head to head matches against the Kinston Bulldogs, the Flying Squadron split the wins.

After a very nerve racking game, the Lady Squadron did not allow the Lady Bulldogs defeat at them on their territory.

It was the fourth quarter with nine seconds on the clock. Senior Allera June was on the free throw line and a hush fell over the crowd.

The Lady Squadron was up, 31-28 but they needed June’s two extra points to get a bigger lead. Unfortunately, the shots were no good, but that didn’t discourage Highland Home.

Avant says, “Our ladies are inexperienced but the resilience and determination to come to practice every day and work hard to get better makes my job worthwhile. Sometimes success isn’t always measured in wins and losses, but in how much our team grows together.”

Denying any other points from the Kinston Bulldogs, the Lady Squadron came out on top with a final score of 31-28.

Leading the team was Merriweather with 13 points and following behind was June.

“We were able to beat Kinston, who has previously beat us earlier this year. Our only two seniors, Allera June and Tanner Harris, have been so valuable to our future here at Highland Home. I love our ladies and I am excited about our future,” says Avant.

The Highland Home boys went back and forth with the Kinston Bulldogs throughout the whole game, leaving the Flying Squadron disappointed; the final score was 63-60.

Highland Home boys head coach, Shawn Sellers says, “Kinston played hard and was well prepared and made the shots where it counted. I am always proud and always show Squadron pride”

Scoring a total of 16 points, Roberson led the team and next was senior Drick Bell.

Highland Home next hosted the Brantley Bulldogs, county rivals and area game competition, on Tuesday night.

Sadly, the score did not reflect the work and effort previously shown by the Squadron as they were defeated both in the boys game at 64-49 and in the girls game at 48-26.

But with this defeat comes a clean slate for the next game as the Squadron prepares to take on Red Level tonight.

“We are a really young and small team. I really believe we can beat anyone any night and we can lose to anyone on any giving night. It’s part of a process building a program off young players and putting in a system,” Sellers says.