The girls basketball team at Knightdale was pretty good last season. The Knights finished third in the conference, posting a 17-7 overall record and a 10-4 record in the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference.
But “pretty good” isn’t going to fly with Trent Bunn anymore. The head coach has his sights set on higher expectations for his players this winter.
“I just want us to be fully prepared for each game,” Bunn said.
Bunn said preparation will be the biggest difference between this year’s team and last year’s team. He praised his assistants in advance of the long and meticulous season for the Knights.
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Early on, Bunn says the challenge is getting in shape. The Knights are preparing for their season opener with plenty of conditioning.
“For the past couple practices, when I’ve come into practice, the girls are already working on their weaknesses or one of their plays without me having to say, ‘OK, let’s get to it,’ ” Bunn said.
It’s a sign that Bunn’s team is buying into his program.
The Knights’ on-court leader is junior guard Mikaya Wilson. She is Knightdale’s primary ball-handler and also one of the team’s top scorers.
“You kind of know what she’s going to give you from a basketball standpoint,” Bunn said of Wilson, who’s proven to be consistent for the Knights. “We’re trying to broaden her basketball IQ and give her more opportunities to be a leader.”
Flanking Wilson this winter will be junior guard Lovely Locklear and sophomore small forward Le’Zarea Bowens. Both players project to play big offensive roles.
The Knights will also enjoy senior leadership from guards Kia Holden and Rikayla Person.
“We’re looking for them to lead the team in the right direction,” Bunn said of the upperclassmen.
The players have a particularly good chemistry. Bunn says it’s because they’re addicted to competition – and allergic to average.
“Our motto as a team is ‘Be allergic to average on our pursuit to greatness,’ ” Bunn said. “We have a different level of competitiveness (in practice) that we’ve been missing in the past.”
There’s no game already circled on Knightdale’s upcoming schedule – other than the first one. Bunn isn’t interested in predicting his team’s finish in the conference; he says he’ll leave it up for someone else to determine if his Knights are favorites to win.
But what he does know is he can count on his team to show up for every game.
“We’re going to have a team that can compete every night,” Bunn said. “We’ll give it our all, and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”