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    Rising Stars claim AAU national basketball championship

    photoHarmony Middle School student Paige Williamson stood out defensively on the Winchester Rising Stars national title team this summer.—Courtesy Photo

    The Winchester Rising Stars rose to the top among 47 teams at the 2012 AAU Sixth Grade Division II National Championships, July 1-6 in Franklin, Tenn. The Rising Stars won their final two games by a combined three points to cap an undefeated run in the tournament and earn a national title. Paige Williamson, a student at Harmony Middle School in Hamilton, was a defensive standout on the team.

    The Rising Stars, coached by Tamara Green and former Loudoun County High School girls basketball coach Kevin Reed, defeated the Indiana Hooiser Elite, 34-32, in the championship game after outlasting the North Georgia Heat in the semifinals, 42-41 in double overtime.

    Williamson is in her first season competing with the Rising Stars. Reed, who guided Loudoun County to a Virginia Division 4 state championship in 2009, noted that Williamson will eventually attend Woodgrove High School.

    The Rising Stars’ full roster includes Erika Reed, Megan Hicks, Makaela Kestner, Ayanna Strother, Madison Green, Haile McDonald, Emily Carl, Hannah Snapp and Williamson.

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