With division title, win streak at stake, resilient Knights refuse to lose

The Southerner

COACH 'EM UP -- Coach Douglas Slade instructs his squad during a timeout in the Knights' 62-59 win at Washington. Slade's defensive play call in the game's final timeout helped create a turnover that prevented a 3-point attempt that may have tied the game. The Knights ended the regular season on a 10-game win streak. Photo by Olivia Veira.

By Olivia Veira

Last game of the regular season. On the road. Against an old foe. A division title at stake.

The Knights seized the moment and answered the challenge.

The Grady Grey Knights defeated the host Washington Bulldogs 62-59 on Feb. 10 to earn the Region 5-AAA Division A title. With the win, the Grady Grey Knights boys basketball team ran its win streak to 10 games and will enter the region playoffs as the top seed from Division A.

Grady took the lead early in the first quarter with baskets from Chad Winfrey, Brandon Watkins, Tyrius Walker and Kivon Taylor. The Knights were up 16-11 with 2:11 left in the first quarter. Washington had a chance to close the gap but missed two free throws. Grady scored six straight points after the missed free throws. Grady maintained at least a nine-point lead throughout the second quarter and ended the first half ahead 22-13.

The heat started to pick up late in the third quarter after a 13-0 Washington run saw Washington take the lead.

Despite numerous Grady turnovers , the Knights were able to regain the lead in the fourth quarter after a 16-6 run.

Washington held  a 48-42 lead early in the fourth quarter but junior guard Winfrey scored six straight points — a 3-pointer and a three-point play– to tie the game at 48. For the next 6 minutes, both teams fought to take the lead but Grady pulled ahead 58-54 with 2:10 remaining in the game due with a 10-4 run.

With only 4 seconds left and Grady ahead 62-59, Coach Douglas Slade called a time out to set up his defense for the final play of the game. Slade’s strategy worked as Washington turned the ball over on an inbounds play, allowing Grady to secure the win.

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