New coach aims to help Knights heat up

The Southerner

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By: Alex Tonico

The Lady Knights basketball team looks forward to starting the 2015-2016 season after suffering a 51-50 loss to Redan in last year’s playoffs that ended their season.

“It burns. It burns a lot. It really hurt last year,” said senior Danasha Smith, the only returning varsity starter from last year.

Even after the team’s 13-12 record last year, the players have high hopes for this season.

Although the team lost four starters and its head coach, Harlan Graham, the Lady Knights believe that the returning players, new additions, and a new coach can propel them to success

Renee Breedlove will replaces Graham as head coach. Breedlove comes to Grady after coaching the girls basketball team at Miller Grove for seven years.

Her career at Miller Grove included consecutive 20-win seasons from 2011-2013, two straight state championship appearances and a championship win in the 2011-2012 season.

Breedlove brings with her a strong defensive mindset and high hopes for Grady, including a state title in the future.

“If  [the players] buy into playing defense, I feel like we have enough in our repertoire in these kids that we can get there,” Breedlove said. “I’m not going to say that we are going to win state the first year, but we can definitely get past the first round if they buy into playing defense because they are talented enough to do that.”

Graham resigned this year following cheating allegations on Student Learning Objective tests.

“I was close with coach Graham, so I was kind of sad, but it’s a different coach and a better coach,” Smith said.  

The team is looking forward to a positive change with Breedlove.

“I love her; I love the whole coaching staff. They’re all pretty cool,” junior Millennium Taylor said. “She’s all about defense, and her resume is pretty good, so I trust her a lot.” Some players were more affected by the loss of Coach graham but are looking towards the future.

The Lady Knights will start their season against Redan Nov. 17, and it will be their first chance to prove themselves.  Grady is 0-9 against Redan i since moving into Region 6AAAA with the Lady Raiders in the 2012-2013 season.

“After losing to them multiple times last season, I think we are making the change to be able to stop their win streak against us” said Taylor.

“It’s slow, but I see the improvement. Last Thursday (Oct. 22) was the first day I started feeling like they were turning the corner with all the defensive drills we have been doing so I really think that grady will have something to be proud of.” said Breedlove.

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