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Making the cut
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After losing three senior starters from a regional- tournament team, coach Erick Baird replenished his roster Friday when he announced who made the cut for the Warren County High School basketball team next season.All nine players are incumbents of the Lady Pioneer program, including soon-to-be seniors Megan Dishman, Rachel Nokes and Paige Greene.Joining the three seniors are juniors Camerie Martin, Jessie Newby, Lexy Holmes and Zaya Holmes and sophomores Bri Melton and Brittany Myers.The nine-player roster is similar in numbers to last year’s team, but much of the team’s scoring will need to be replaced.Lauren Wilkinson, one of the top scorers in Lady Pioneer history, and Bree Smith, who averaged double figures last season, are gone.Dishman, Nokes, Martin, Newby, Melton and Myers each played significant roles on last year’s team and coach Baird believes the six returning players form a strong core.“We got a solid group returning, but we’re lacking the depth,” said Baird.Greene sat out last season with an ACL injury, but looks to be available this season. The Holmes sisters will make the jump to varsity after spending last season playing junior varsity, a team no longer in existence within the program.District 6-AAA moved away from freshman teams last year, favoring freshmen and sophomores playing together. Merging the underclassmen left little purpose for junior-varsity teams.Coach Baird feels having two teams could be a product of attrition in his upperclassmen, but an underclassmen team could benefit due to the development of AAU programs.“We’ve always been about starting our best five, regardless of class,” said Baird.