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Panthers hire Tony Hill to run girls hoops program

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PORTLAND - Not a week after naming a boys head basketball coach Portland High School wasted little time naming their new girls coach. On May 16 in the Portland Library, Panther Principal David Woods introduced Tony Hill as head coach, replacing Miranda Cravens who left a few weeks ago to run the program at Station Camp.

Hill comes to Sumner County from Williamson County, where he spent four seasons as the girls head coach at Centennial High School. During his four years at Centennial, Hill set various school records as head coach including, but not limited to, most wins in a season (19), first district tournament win, first district tournament runner up finish, first region appearance, first region win, first sectional appearance, and best four-year record at 55-48.

Hill was also athletic director at Centennial so his knowledge of how to run a program goes further than just the basketball court.

Hill is originally from Indiana where he graduated from Indiana University with a BS degree in Physical Education and Health and Safety.

He moved to Tennessee in 2009 and took the job as women's head coach at Lambuth University in Jackson from 2009-11 where he was awarded Conference Coach of the Year in 2010 and reached the NAIA Division I National Tournament in 2010.

"I really like the small-town atmosphere. I like the opportunity of being able to build with the young players and get kids interested in playing ball while they are young," said Hill on why he decided to leave Centennial for Portland. "Building fundamentals, building a base, and building a feeder program really appeals to me. Getting back to a small town appealed to me. I really enjoyed my day on Friday with Mr. Woods, and I'm very excited about his vision for not only basketball but for the school. Can't wait to become part of the family here in Portland."

Hill mentioned that the backbone of his team will be defense and rebounding, pushing the ball up the floor but still with the ability to back out and run a set offense in the half court.

"Our goals will always be to compete in the district and region," said Hill. "Coach Cravens built a foundation for that with two out of the last three years being winning seasons. We certainly want to continue that. I think everyone has the goal to get to Murfreesboro and that will certainly be our goal and objective here at Portland."

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