Garner takes over at Pike

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots basketball team will have a new face patrolling the sidelines this season. Chris Garner takes over for former head coach Robert Hawkins.

Garner, a graduate of Sparta Academy, helped coach girls basketball and junior varsity basketball at Sparta

“I am excited,” Garner said. “I have heard so many great things about the school and the athletic department.”

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Garner inherits a roster experiencing quite a bit of turnover after losing 1,000-point scorer Lauren Johnson along with Susie Stell and Danielle Brown.

“We lost Lauren Johnson, who was a big contributor,” Garner said. “It’s going to take some practice and getting used to. We are going to be good this year, in my opinion.”

Garner will rely on his older players, while at the same time hoping his sophomore class will step up. “I am expecting a lot of contributions from my sophomore class which includes Shelby Renfroe, Ansley Adams and that group.”

Garner will coach his team to get the ball up the court quickly and play man-to-man on defense.

“I like my defense to transition into offense,” Garner said. “I really like to more or less press if I can. I am not a set kind of person, I like to press and run the floor.”

Even after losing their main contributors from last season, Garner is hopeful his team will make a return trip to the playoffs.

“I would like to have a good year as far as wining and being .500,” Garner said. “I think this team is a playoff team, but they are going to have to work to get there.”