Trojan banquet: CHHS celebrates basketball season

Published 10:10 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Charles Henderson High School celebrated their 2018-2019 basketball season with a banquet on Wednesday evening.

Both the boys and girls basketball teams finished in the postseason in 2019 and both teams were honored on Wednesday.

“It’s a culmination of the year,” said boys basketball coach Doug Branson. “It gives us a chance to recognize the guys that really bought in and paid the price and grinded. We were able to have some success. This group laid a foundation for what we are trying to get done. They bought into the work ethic and our system and tonight we are able to recognize that.”

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For head coach Dyneshia Jones, it was an opportunity to say goodbye to her three seniors.

“It’s bittersweet,” Jones said. “It ends the basketball careers when it comes to my seniors. I am so happy with them moving forward.”

The Trojans finished the season as area champions for the second consecutive season and made their way to Montgomery’s regional tournament after knocking off Tallassee in the sub-regionals. The Trojans’ season came to an end in the regional semifinals with a loss to Sylacauga.

Bransonlearned a lot about his team in his inaugural season. What he will take away the most is what he learned about his team in its first game.

“Against Mae Jemison in the third quarter we are down close to 20 and the guys fight back and make it a 10 or 11-point ball game,” Branson said. “We lost the ballgame, but it showed me that we weren’t going to give up or roll over. That first trip was what sticks with me the most. We came together as a group and we did whatever it took to become successful. They did it at the beginning and they did it all the way to the end.”

Branson focused on laying a strong foundation in year one and with players coming back next season, the head coach is ready to get back to work.

“Tonight it’s about honoring the young men and tomorrow will be about making the young men coming back better,” Branson said. “That’s what it’s about: player development between now and next November.”

The Lady Trojans entered the season with an eye on winning back-to-back state championships. The Trojans won their area tournament and advanced to the regional tournament with a win over Valley in the sub-regionals. The Trojans defeated Briarwood Christian 55-12 in the regional semifinal. The Trojans’ powerful offense was stymied in their 44-42 loss to Ramsay in the final, bringing the season to a close.

“We wanted to win state, but we made it further than a lot of teams did,” Jones said. “Overall, I am still proud of them.”

The Trojans, specifically senior Maori Davenport, faced their fair share of adversity this season. Davenport was suspended for much of the season by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for being compensated after playing for Team USA basketball during the summer.

Davenport and Charles Henderson went through two appeal processes. After the suspension was upheld by the Central Board of Appeals, Davenport was allowed to play after Circuit Court Judge Sonny Reagan filed an emergency motion.

The Trojans are forced to say goodbye to three seniors. Davenport, Tatyana Siler and Tanner Moore.