The Grayson County girls’ basketball team entered the Duke’s Summer Shootout after losing one senior to graduation and had its focus on improving their defense and keeping the intensity up for 40 minutes.
“We have really tried to work on getting our girls to distribute the ball, pass the ball and kick to each other so they saw the benefits to that today, especially against the zone,” Coach Hannah Fukuhara said after defeating LaRue County in the first game of the summer shootout.
Last season, the Lady Cougars ended with a 11-16 record after a loss to Edmonson County in the 12th District semifinals.
They shot 35 percent from the field and grabbed 407 rebounds on the campaign. Laura Vincent led the team with 224 boards, 8.3 per game. She also averaged 9.4 points.
Grayson County has a lot of returning players and look to use that experience this season.
“We’re hoping our defense can stay solid,” Fukuhara said. “We have to work on sustaining box outs and not letting off the gas pedal, but we are trying to keep our team together and make sure everyone is having a good time when they are playing.”
Grayson County lost Kaylee Masden to graduation and Fukuhara is expecting her current senior class to step up and show great leadership this season.
“We are hoping to see really strong leadership,” she said. “We have a really good senior class. We have Rachael Snyder and Ella Robinson, who will be juniors, and they will help our varsity a lot and we are hoping that our younger girls can continue to develop and be a good support for the first five on varsity.”
Kenzie Renfrow led the Lady Cougars at 12.3 points a game. Rachael Snyder averaged 10.1 points and 7 rebounds an outing.
“Not losing very many people is a lot easier to fill in one starter than it is to fill in a bunch of starters,” Renfrow said. “We’re all really close and it’s really easy to get back in the groove.”
Fukuhara said the current group of seniors have been playing together for a long time so that has helped with the transition to a new season and the team chemistry.
Playing in the Duke’s Summer Shoot-out gave the Lady Cougars a chance to find room for improvement and learn.
“I learned that you have to play as a team to win,” Renfrow said.
“It’s all about team work,” Snyder said.
“I think we should improve on how to run our offense better because we’re like a new group of girls together,” Renfrow said. “We’ve never been together like this so if we all start working together then our offense will run smoother.”
Team chemistry is an important to being successful and Renfrow and Snyder feel their team has the strong connection on and off the court.
“We’re all really good friends. We hang out outside of basketball and in school so it’s good because we are all good friends,” Renfrow said.
The Lady Cougars are excited to win more games and use that strong team chemistry to help them this season as they welcome a new coach to the team.
“We know what we have to do to win,” Snyder said.
Josh Basham led the squad since 2017 and was recently named the principal of the district’s Alternative Education Center.
“We have a new coach coming in. Our coach got a principal job so we have to get a new coach and that is going to be different, but I feel that we will adjust well,” Renfrow said.
Grayson County is using the summer basketball action to improve and hope the coaching transition runs smoothly as they prepare for the upcoming season.