Pirate basketball expects better results in 2019-20
Last year, the Granbury Pirates were thrown in the deep end.
Returning only two varsity players in 2018-19, the Pirates found themselves in a new district that included four teams that featured in the Class 5A Top 25 at some point during the year.
“If somebody would’ve told me there’s going to be a day where Everman’s going to be in a district where they go 0-14, I would be like, ‘Well, I need to see that district,’” Granbury head coach David Breazeale said. “And we saw it.”
Granbury went 9-22 last season. It was the first time Breazeale had lost 20 games in his coaching career.
He doesn’t see it happening again.
“I think we’ll be better,” he said. “We better be better. We need to be better.”
The Pirates lost four-year varsity player Cade Dudley and guard Micah Tucker to graduation in the offseason. Both were outstanding shooters. Senior forward Blake Cason is now at Tolar, but guard Mason Behrens comes over from the Rattlers and will help on both ends of the court.
Varsity returners include seniors Michael Withey, Gage Molinari and McLain Golba. Withey is an athletic guard with a strong pull-up jumper, and should be able to score in bunches.
Senior Branden Hunt is now on varsity as well, and brings three-point shooting to the Pirates.
Granbury had to compensate for an undersized roster last year, but the Pirates are a little taller and much more athletic this season. That allows the coaching staff to tinker with the defense.
“We’re still undersized, but we can get off the floor a little bit better,” Breazeale said. “We’re changing some things up. We’re going to be a little more selectively committed to press.”
Most of the Pirates are around the same height, about 6-1, and can play different positions. Breazeale will take advantage of that and instruct his players to switch on every screen, although that’s not as easy as it sounds.
“Switching means you have to switch at proper angles so you’re not going to get beat off the dribble. There’s a whole lot more to it,” he said.
Breazeale hopes Granbury will be much better on the defensive end as a result.
“Last year, I could not find a defense that I could ever be happy with,” he said. “We just could not get stops.”
The motion offense Breazeale runs was running nicely at the end of last year, he said, and he hopes that execution will continue in 2019-20.
“The kids know that in spite of the record, the five-on-five man motion offense was probably the best that it’s been since I’ve been here,” he said.
In District 5-5A, Timber-view will be elite again, and Burleson Centennial has a strong group of seniors. But the Pirates have a shot to nab a playoff bid again.
“I’m more optimistic about our chances than last year,” Breazeale said. “But we need to get back to where we were, where we’re a threat and we’re pushing 20 wins.
“That’s what we’d done three or four years in a row.”
Granbury starts its season at home against Joshua on Nov. 19.
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Granbury’s roster was not finalized by press time.