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the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Girls basketball emerges as state championship competitor

Ellie Palaian
Senior Briaiah Lewis prepares for a free throw to complete the three-point play in a win against North Atlanta on Nov. 14.

Returning its entire roster, the girls basketball team, which opened the season ranked number 2 in region 5A, is determined to build on last year’s success and make a strong push for the state championship. 

So far, the Knights are on track with wins over Chamblee, North Atlanta, Cambridge, Walton and Riverwood to open the season.

Senior captain Briaiah Lewis is proud of how the team has fared in the first five games.

“We are ranked [second] in the state which has never happened before,” Lewis said. “I think being undefeated and ranked high has created some energy in the locker room during practice. I believe this excitement will fuel our confidence in our upcoming region play.” 

Sophomore Devin Bockman won Player of the Tournament in the Roswell Rotary Air Flight Invitational tournament. She credits the accomplishment to the conditioning the team did prior to the start of the season, and the in-game experience in AAU.

“Since the end of last season we’ve done spring conditioning, summer league and fall conditioning,” Bockman said. “I think some of this training has led to success this year. I had some great moments last year, including when I had 17 points against Warner Robins.”

Lewis agrees the offseason work has led to the team’s early success.

“To prepare for the season, we are doing a lot of conditioning,” Lewis said. “We were a pressing team last year, so it requires that every player be prepared to run fast and a lot. We have continued that style this year, and I think it has shown a lot of power in our wins. When we beat Walton by five, I think our pressing right when the ball was put into play forced a lot of turnovers that helped us win the game.”

Head coach Martravious Little believes in the importance of staying focused on the present. 

“The most important game is the next game,” Little said. “Right now, we’re focused on region play. We had a really good year last year; it was a fun ride for all of us. Our biggest shortcoming was just our experience last year. Now, our season has been great so far since we returned our whole team.”

Bockman believes they are working to fix their biggest problems from last year to improve.

“I think last season one of the struggles we had was just being able to play consistently over the games and starting strong,” Bockman said. “[That] is something that we were aware of and trying to fix game by game.” 

Being ranked third in the state presents a new style of competition that the Knights are ready to take on. 

“There is kind of a target on our back in a way, and we just need to make sure we perform to the best of our abilities,” Bockman said.

Little is determined to lead the team to the state championship. 

“Our goal is to make it to Macon, GA (where the State Championship is held) this year,” Little said. “We just have to focus on each practice and each game.”

Despite the added pressure of being second in region 5A basketball and undefeated, Lewis exuded confidence in her team’s abilities.

“We will go farther than last year,” Lewis said. “In my four years at Midtown, I haven’t seen a team this hungry to win,” Lewis said. “Even though I will not be a part of the team in years to come, it is nice to see all of the underclassmen do well. But this year I see ourselves in a state championship if we play our cards right.”

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About the Contributors
Owen Cummings
Owen Cummings, Sports Associate Managing Editor
Owen Cumming is a junior and sports writer on the Southerner. While not writing, he enjoys playing golf. He is beaming with glee to continue writing this year.
Ellie Palaian
Ellie Palaian, Sports Managing Editor
Ellie Palaian is a senior and this is her third year on staff for The Southerner. She plays varsity soccer for Midtown High and is excited to write for the paper this year.

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