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Hunter: Basketball season's over

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By DAVID HUNTER

It is now March, so it means, the high school basketball season is coming to an end with state champions being crowned during the next few days.

However, this postseason was short lived for both the Cannon County High School basketball teams as each of them fell in the first round of the District 8AA tournament on Feb. 14.

Here are my final thoughts on a the season, but the future is bright heading into next winter.

First the Lionettes, second year head coach Jonathan Odom used this season as a chance to teach a mix of key returnees along with a group of freshman, who got a lot of valuable experience this season. There were times five freshmen were on the floor at the same time.

The Lionettes had its share of ups and downs, but the ending of the season was unfortunate as one of those freshman, Anna Grace Sissom went down with an ankle injury on Feb. 7 at Murfreesboro Central Magnet, and she was done for the season.

"She was really starting to peak late in the season," Odom said. "Her absence really showed its face (Feb. 14), we were really limited in our depth from a post perspective. She is one of our best rebounders, and in the first half alone we allowed eight offensive rebounds. We really missed her production (Feb. 14), not just from an offensive perspective, but from a defensive and rebounding perspective. It is one of those things out of our control, for the most part, we had been really blessed this season to be injury free, it just hit us at a bad time. It definitely had an effect on us (Feb. 14)."

As for the Lions, they had a hard time getting going as two seasons ago, they were one game away from advancing to the state tournament. This season they fell to dead last in one of the toughest districts in the state with only four wins, including one in the district.

However, like the Lionettes, most of the production will be back next winter, and they hope to learn and get better during the offseason.

"You have a four-win season, and no one should be proud of that," Lions head coach Matt Rigsby said. "I never buy in into your only as good as your next game scenario. We need to take this season and apply what went wrong, and there were some positives, don't get me wrong. At the end of the day, if we show growth and coming into next year we are not just a year older, but a year better, that will be the way to go."

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