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Vina keeps court hot with busy summer

The Lady Red Devils haven’t let the off-season slow them down. Coach Richie Hester’s girls basketball team has played two dozen games during June to stay in form and develop their skills.

“Weve had a good summer. The kids have worked hard,” Hester said. “We’ve played everywhere from Wallace to Hazel Green, and there’s no doubt we have really improved.”

The girls have also taken on the competition at Cherokee, Phil Campbell and Belgreen, and Hester said they have won several games.

“They are playing hard and playing as a team,” he said. “If you work, you get better. That’s the big thing.”

The Lady Red Devils have posted an 11-11-2 record over the summer with losses to 7A Hazel Green, 7A Hewitt-Trussville, 6A Athens, 5A Priceville, 4A Anniston, 4A Nettleton (Miss.), 4A Amory (Miss.), 3A Locust Fork, 2A Tharptown, 2A Phil Campbell and Coosa Christian. “Most of these games were close games,” Hester said – however, not having a lot of substitutes would take its toll on the Lady Red Devils. Vina lsot by four points or less to Anniston, Nettleton, Amory and Coosa.

Wins came in for the Lady Red Devils versus Sheffield, Ranburne, Cleveland, Belgreen, Shoals Christian, Athens Bible, Hackleburg, Faulkner (Miss.), Tremont (Miss.),  and Belmont (Miss.) B-Varsity.

“It has been a grueling 3 weeks of baskekball,” Hester said. “The players have said they have been sore every day when they got out of bed. Every day, I have asked them to do the same thing and get back on the court and play again, and every day I have gotten the same response: they have given a 110 percent no matter who the opponent was.”

Vina has all five starters returning from last season when the Lady Red Devils won nine games and the Vina Invitational Tournament. Hester said his Lady Red Devils put up some impressive statistics last season, recording seven individuals and five team AHSAA records. “Our expectations are even higher for next season. We have a very good team chemistry, which we hope will bring even more success,” Hester said.

Lady Red Devil starters will be senior Mary Morgan Clingan, junior Abby Hester, sophomore Emma Humphres, freshman Kaitlyn King and eighth grader Gracie Raper. “This group of girls are still very young and have a bright future,” Hester said.