Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 21, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Inside Presence

Lady Hornet posts looking to help team any way they can this season

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

Athens — A good team relies on a total team effort for 48 minutes of a basketball game.

With strong guard play and an aggressive inside presence, three Athens Lady Hornets have shown they mean business this season.

Sophomores Cari Aguilera and Shelby Sims, along with sophomore post Bryla Barker, have been key components for first-year Athens coach Dee Evans this season.

An added benefit is their leadership on the court, as all three players have seen varsity action since their freshman years.

Aguilera said finding ways to help the team on a daily basis is something she strives for every time she steps onto the court.

“I just try to do anything that I can to help my team out,” Aguilera said. “I will do anything that I am asked to do.”

For Sims, playing the role of the sixth man coming off the bench has already garnered attention from opposing fans this district season.

“That means a lot to me and I think I do my best but it still feels good to be recognized as a threat on the team,” Sims said.

The youngest of the group is Barker, who has made her presence known as a starter on the 8-16 Lady Hornets basketball team.

Barker said learning the varsity game from teammates Aguilera and Sims has helped her improve on the main areas of her game this season.

“I have improved at shooting more than I used too,” Barker said. “I am doing a lot better than I have done in the past. I have learned to be more aggressive than I used to be.”

Aguilera said having three post players on the team to help out guards Demi Cumby, Josee McNeece and Hadley Cain gives opposing defenses more options to consider throughout any ballgame.

I think it would be good to have teams focus on us more,” Aguilera said. “I think we need to work as hard as we can for the team and help in any way that we can.”

With only six more games left in the regular season, all three players said they have one thing in mind in hopes of getting to the playoffs in a very tough District 15-3A.

“We need to work on playing smarter,” Aguilera said. “We need to stay on top of teams like we did against Mabank better throughout the game.”

Barker said working harder on defense and getting rebounds in key situations is her area of emphasis the remainder of the year.

Sims said for the Lady Hornets to make a trip into the postseason, the team as a whole needs to work on better shot selection.

“We need to try and make more shots instead of just throwing them up there,” Sims said. “We need to try and finish our shots better.”