It’s gonna take some time, and Patrick McKnight is okay with that.

McKnight has taken over the Reedsport girls basketball program for the 2017-18 season and is optimistic he can continue the upward trend of the program.

“I tried to make (the transition) as easy as possible, I didn’t change too much,” McKnight said after Friday’s game against Oakland. “The program that the last coach put together last year, there was nothing wrong with the program. We just need to continue to work on fundamentals.

“And the coaching change, just getting used to a new coach, new words, new things — it’s coming along.”

On the floor, McKnight has been impressed his guard play, which has been a highlight of the early season.

Kaylee Stoltey has stepped into a leadership role for the Brave, leading in energy as well as vocally. McKnight also mentioned Makenzie Seely and Michelle Martin, two guards, as a couple players who have taken a couple steps forward since the beginning of the season.

“My guards — Seely and Michelle Martin, they are playing very well for me,” McKnight said. “With Stoltey being their leader, it’s really working out for ‘em.”

To start the season, Reedsport has taken a couple tough losses. Its season-opener and subsequent games ended in losses to traditional Class 1A power Elkton and traditional Class 2A power Oakland.

For McKnight, though, the scores wern’t the issue. He wanted tough competition to give his squad a baptism by fire and grow them up quickly.

“You got to,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t play the little smaller teams because you get to league and you get those big teams.

“We said when we first got started that we wanted tough games in the beginning. I didn’t care who it was. I didn’t care what the losses are. We should be playing our best basketball come league. Right now the losses are gonna come. We’re just gonna take ‘em as they come. We’re gonna get better, that they know, and we’re gonna make a run in league.”

The Brave hosted Mapleton on Tuesday (results were not available by press time) and play St. Mary's on Friday in the Winter Lake Classic at Coquille. They face either Rogue River or the host Red Devils on Saturday and have a trio of road games next week, at Glide (Tuesday), Crow (Thursday) and Mapleton (Friday). 

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