Despite a relatively slow start, Yates really turned things around late with a key upset over district champion Kashmere high school, who beat Yates earlier, concluding an 11-8 overall (10-2 district) record season with a six-game win streak entering the playoffs. Yates senior shooting guard Abagail Shackelford and freshman point guard Shaniya Belcher-Grimble are a big reason why.
In Yates upset over Kashmere, Shackelford kept Yates in the game hitting four three pointers and Belcher-Grimble consistently applied the pressure on the defensive side also making an AND 1 buzzer beating three pointer that was far beyond her years.
When Yates head coach was asked what makes these two young ladies special, she stated.
“Abagail is a senior that has experience and makes a play anytime we are looking for her to make a play.”
“And Shaniya has a tough grit and really executes, especially on defense.”
The Defender spoke with Shackelford and Belcher-Grimble to discuss their games, turnaround season and more.
Style of Play
Shackleford: “Aggressive. I am very aggressive.”
Belcher-Grimble: “I like to pass the ball a lot and just play hard.”
Three Point Shot
Shackleford: “I think it is just practicing over the summer, keep the repetition of my shot, and just keep on scooting back more and more so I am harder to guard.”
Shackleford: “I started AAU in the 9th grade and I think that really helped me develop and play at a higher level.”
Belcher-Grimble: “My coach is very aggressive with us and she like us to be aggressive. That is what really helped me transition to the high school level.”
Shackleford: “We were just pushing to the end. In the last game we had some technical difficulties. But in this game we just kept pushing every minute throughout the whole game.”
AND 1 Buzzer Beater
Belcher-Grimble: “I was very nervous because I honestly didn’t even know I was going to hit it. I really thought it was going to airball.”
About Abagail Shackelford
Commitment Status: Uncommitted
Players She Studies: Skylar Diggins and Maya Moore
Favorite Subject: Science
Shoutouts: my mom, the team, my parents and my sister
About Shaniya Belcher-Grimble
Favorite Musical Artist: Everybody
Favorite Food: Pizza
Hobbies: Playing the game Fortnite
Shoutouts: My coach and my team