Boys basketball starts 5-6


Elias Podber

Senior Micheal Stevens dribbles the ball down the court against Paideia on Nov. 8, the season opener, which the Knights won 64-63. Stevens has led the team with his offensive efforts, and scored 27 points in a 66-61 win against Lithia Springs on Dec. 3.

Keller Rentz-Baker

Eleven games into the season, the boys varsity basketball team has started off with a 5-6 record as new head coach Patrick Johnson tries to lead the team to the playoffs.

Johnson came to Grady from Mount Pisgah Christian School, and the team has fully bought in to his coaching style.

“The drills coach has us doing are getting us more acclimated with each other, and they’re building our teamwork and our bonds,” junior Jeremiah Scott said.

Starting the season 5-6, Johnson continues to stay positive about the future of the team’s season. 

“There’s still room to grow,” Johnson said. “Obviously, it’s a new system with new people trying to get to know each other. I think we’re really starting to figure each other out.” 

Despite currently having a losing record, the Knight’s have accomplished much including finishing second overall in the Roswell Rotary Air Invitational over Thanksgiving break. The team beat Roswell 75-70 in the first game and Alpharetta 71-68 in the second before losing to Shiloh in the championship game 52-83. 

“I think the Shiloh game that we played in the championship of our thanksgiving tournament was probably the best team we’ve played,” Johnson said.

Players have praised their coach for his coaching methods, bringing fiery competition and strengthening bonds in practice day in and day out.

“Coach is really good about making sure we compete every practice by dividing us up into two teams,” senior Christian Lubsey said. “We’re all pretty competitive, and we’re fighting to win every drill which helps to build bonds with everybody on the team.” 

Johnson and the team have made it a priority to work hard in practice and continue to win games, but they also understand the importance of being rewarded with success.

“He [Johnson] felt like we all played really hard, with good intensity, like we wanted to win; so he kind of rewarded us, but he also really wanted us to go hard and stay intense in practices,” sophomore Samaj Barnwell said.

Since the Paideia game, the Knights have a 2-2 region record with an important win against Lithia Springs 66-61, which was ranked 10th in Class 5A at the time and tough losses to region rivals Maynard Jackson 59-72 and Decatur 54-66.

“I think our record reflects pretty well where our team is,” Johnson said. “We’ve had some good wins and some frustrating losses, but overall, I like the direction we’re headed.”

After three consecutive losing seasons, the Knights want to get back to where they were four years ago: with a region championship, preparing for the state tournament.

“That [a state tournament berth] would be great; I love that they’re thinking like that,” Johnson said. “Those are realistic goals to have, but my approach as a coach is just trying to get better everyday.”