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Trojans look to benefit from tough schedule

The Charles Henderson Lady Trojans ended 2016 with two tournaments in Birmingham, and even though they ended with three losses, they believe they took a major step forward heading into 2017.

The Trojans entered the Big Orange Tournament undefeated on the season before falling in the finals to Hoover. A week later, the Trojans dropped two more matches against ranked teams in Hillcrest Tuscaloosa and Eastern Lauren out of Louisiana in the Ball in Prep Tournament. Even with the losses, coach Dyneshia Jones is impressed with her team.

“I am very proud of the way my girls have been playing,” Jones said. “We started the year undefeated and then we lost three games. The tournament verified that I have a great group of girls that continue improve. I think we have a good chance to make it further this year.”

All three of the Trojans’ losses came to ranked teams, and the hope is that the players will benefit from the tough games as they make their transition into area play.

“It benefits us a lot to play teams that have talented young ladies,” Jones said. “We needed that, and it let me know what things we needed to work on. Our three losses came against ranked teams. We fought and played hard against tough teams.”

The Trojans lost by less than 10 combined points in the three games, with two of them ending in overtime.

The Trojans spent their limited time off trying to get healthy. They have battled the injury bug as of late and lost starter Mykyia Milton to a leg injury. At times this season, the Trojans have played just five players in a game, but Jones believes they have the depth moving forward.

“We are short because of injuries,” Jones said. “A lot of them didn’t get breaks and they continued to work hard. They have to continue to fight and we are going to have to push them a little harder.”

One of the players the Trojans do have on the roster is Tatyana Siler, who is quietly leading her team in scoring this year and ranks near the top in rebounding– and she is doing it against teams from higher classes.

“She plays an important part on this team,” Jones said. “People don’t notice it, but she is probably leading the team in scoring. She is one of those quiet scorers.”

The Trojans get back on the court this afternoon when they host Carroll. Then, after a game against Dothan, the Trojans begin area play when they take on Brewbaker Tech.

“We are looking forward to it,” Jones said. “We don’t rush the season, but it’s exciting. We want to see where we end up.”

The Trojans and the Eagles will begin play at approximately 5:30 p.m.