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.”

Senior Experience

Shackleford: “I started AAU in the 9th grade and I think that really helped me develop and play at a higher level.”

 Freshman Impact

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.”

Kashmere Upset

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

I love sports and have been with the Defender since birth. I joined the staff as a videographer and accepted the responsibility of doing high school sports and never looked back. FUN FACT: I am trying...