Basketball season overview: Vina

GIRLS

Longtime Vina coach Richie Hester believes if teams are going to have success this year, they are going to have to adopt a ‘Never Give Up” attitude. That’s the identity he plans to forge into his team as they embark on the new season.

Vina returns several players with experience in Sara Harper, Kaley Attaway, Khylee Brooks, KK Mitchell and Jayln Shotts, but Hester says his team is younger.

“The difference from last year is they are a lot younger, with three freshmen. We don’t shoot the ball as well as last year, but we are finding ways to get the job done.”

One of the ways the Red Devils are getting the job done is on the defensive side of the ball.

“We are playing hard-nosed defense,” Hester explained. “The first two games this year, we led 20-4 after the first quarter and made no three pointers. We were getting it done defensively.”

Hester defined “tenacity” has what has stood out about his team this year.

“We have a lot of quickness and team speed and we hustle. Those three things combined with the willingness to win is going to help us win some games this year.”

ROSTER

Kaley Attaway               10

Mikala Mitchell             12

Jayln Shotts                   21

Sara Harper                  5

Khylee Brooks               13

Braxtyn Quinn               14

Harleigh Ridge              1

Brooklyn McEuen          24

Miranda King                22

Layla Hester                  3

Makenzie Elrod             15

Lana Bell                       2

BOYS

Vina varsity boys coach Randy Barnes preaches toughness to his players every day. Barnes said he knows that with his team’s youth and inexperience, the Red Devils will have to compensate with grit.

“These kids work hard and want to learn. Every practice, it seems every kid is asking questions in order to get better.”

Barnes says his team’s experience of earning a subregion bid and getting double-digit wins last year has gotten more students interested in basketball.

“We had over 20 kids come out for basketball, and they have hit the ground running. When you have success, more and more people want to be a part of it, and I am loving every minute of it. For me, it is all about investing in the kids’ future.”

Vina graduated five seniors who had played at the varsity level since the ninth grade, which means the Red Devils could experience some growing pains.

“We are a lot younger and inexperienced,” explained Barnes. “I am trying to figure out what our team’s identity is going to be. The success we had last year left a good taste in the younger kids mouth of what it feels like to make it to postseason play. They want that experience now.”

Vina returns two players with some playing experience, Grayson Ridge and Christian McCarley.

“Grayson and Christian are going to have to be leaders for the younger guys,” said Barnes.
“The kids have responded well, and I am excited for the future of Vina basketball.”

ROSTER

Tristin Farr                                00

Lane Easterling                         1

Christian McCarley                    2

Parker Watts                             4

Grayson Ridge                           5

Bryson Finch                             10

Jamison Brown                         11

Matthew Patterson                   14

Kayson Johnson                        23

Brody Raper                              24

Colton Davis                             42

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