Lady Knights Hope to Take Next Step
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After making three straight trips to the Elite Eight of the state playoffs, the St. Francis Lady Knights entered the 2012-2013 season with plans of taking the next step as a program.
Off to a 5-3 start on the season, a 2-0 mark in 6A play, and still awaiting the return of their best player, head coach Aisha Gaddis thinks her team is well on their way to doing just that.
“Falling short the last three years I think our girls, and especially our seniors, came into this year wanting to win a title after always coming so close,” said Gaddis, now in her fourth year at the program’s head.
“We have four seniors, four juniors and most of them have been here since they were freshman. If we can get healthy, I think we have a great shot to take that next step and make a run.”
The Lady Knights have been led by senior forward Antoinette Brown (16.7 points per game) and junior guard Candice Williams (14.8 points) through the early portion of the season. The dynamic scoring duo has teamed with guards Jade Davis (5.6 points, 3.1 assists, 3.6 steals) and Abby Grant (11.4 [points) to give St. Francis a small, but incredibly athletic lineup.
“Speed, speed and more speed has been our strength,” said Gaddis. “We are guard heavy but that isn’t a bad thing because we probably have the best guards in all of [Class A]. We’re at our best when we are getting after it on defense with a press and running the floor on offense.”
St. Francis’ talented backcourt stands to get even better in the coming weeks with the return of Nigia Greene, a 5-foot-9 senior guard that has signed to play at the University of Miami and averaged 18.6 points a game last season before tearing her ACL in March.
“We thought it would be tough without her, but we’ve done well so far. We’re planning to get her back at some point in January and hopefully she will give us a boost heading towards [the state tournament],” said Gaddis.
The Lady Knights will play in the PeachState Holiday Basketball Tournament this week at Holy Innocents’ before returning to region play Jan. 8 against Walker.