In at least one respect, twins Shaketa and Shaquita Hodges are complete opposites. The Rutland seniors wear jersey numbers 53 and 35, respectively.
But it’s their similarities as basketball players that have Rutland fans thinking of another banner season. Each has the size (both are 5-foot-7) to rebound and defend the post. And each has the ball-handling ability and athleticism to run the floor.
“We hope to make it as far as we can,” Shaketa Hodges said.
“And we will do that as long as we learn and work as a team,” Shaquita added.
Two of only four seniors on this year’s team (Cayla Jones and Tamecia Watson are the others), the Hodges have enjoyed huge success during their Rutland careers. The Lady Hurricanes averaged 25 wins in each of the previous three seasons. Rutland won region titles in the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons and went to the GHSA Class AA Final Four the year in between. The twins have made big contributions.
“They’ve meant a great deal,” head coach Johnny Dixon said.
Their roles have changed through the years. Shaquita Hodges has been a defensive specialist in years past. Now positioned more frequently on the wing, she’s looking to create shots for herself.
“My main thing (as a senior), is to just keep everyone at peace,” she said.
Meanwhile, the development of sophomore point guard Adriuanna Brown has allowed Shaketa Hodges to play more wing herself. She’ll move to the point when Brown needs a rest.
The Hodges’ ability to score and rebound takes the pressure off forward Zonesha Davis. The junior post player averages a double-double in scoring and rebounding.
Entering Tuesday’s game at Veterans, the Rutland girls have won five straight games and are undefeated in 2-AAA.
The team’s biggest issue may be its youth. Eight Hurricanes are freshmen or sophomores.
“It’s a young team,” Shaketa Hodges said. “I expect them to go out there and fight hard. They’re showing hard work. I’m very proud of my team.”