Bryan County’s girls locked up a berth in the GHSA Class A state tournament with an emphatic 71-28 win over Claxton Tuesday night while the boys secured third-place in the region with 68-47 victory over the Tigers.
Kayley Wedlow poured in 21 points to pace four players in double figures as the Redskins (16-3, 8-0) continued their push toward another 20-win season. Jasmine Mikell added 19 while Ashanti Brown and Liz Harvey scored 10 each.
The Redskins got a big win at Metter, 58-55, last Friday at Metter before losing at Tattnall County, 56-41, the next day.
Starting in 2017, Coach Mario Mincey’s team has won 20 or more games every season except in 2021 when they had a 9-12 mark in the COVID-impacted season. During this eight-year run, the Redskins have gone 163-48 highlighted by a 26-3 season in 2019.
With only two games remaining in region play, Bryan County can secure the No. 1 seed for the region tournament with a win at either Screven County on Friday night or at Savannah High on Feb. 2. The Blue Jackets (8-7, 4-2) are in second. Everyone else has three or more losses.
The top two teams earn a bye into the semifinals which means a spot in the state tournament. The region tournament for both boys and girls will be at Metter Feb. 13-16.
Coach Brent Anderson’s boys team played its third straight game, all wins, without leading scorer Elijah Mincey who had wisdom teeth removed last Friday.
Mincey has been playing with a lingering shoulder injury suffered in football and in a game against Woodville-Tompkins aggravated a knee which was also injured in football. The three-game rest allowed him to let his body heal and–in what could be a blessing in disguise–enabled the rest of the team to learn it can play and play well without him.
Going into last Friday night’s game at Metter the Redskins (12-7, 5-3) were riding a four-game losing streak but the team, Anderson said, rallied and knocked off the Tigers, 44-40, and then won at Tattnall County, 58-51, the next day before blitzing Claxton.
“Those were tight games and the kids came through,” Anderson said. “They look to him (Mincey) so much so playing without him was a big test. They really played well as a team and learned a lot about themselves.”
“Against Tattnall we made 10 3-pointers and played a good solid game,” Anderson said. “I didn’t want to play him against Claxton because with stitches he could get hit in the face and then be out even more.”
“At this stage of the season there’s no need to risk it. We’ll probably play him Friday night at Screven.”
Lyric Daniels scored 14 points and Chris Winfree added 10 while having another big night on the boards to lead the win over Claxton. All told 11 different players scored with Justin Beck and Darius Edwards adding eight each. Daniels hit three of the Redskins’ eight 3-pointers.
Mincey had concerns going into the game at Metter as the Tigers under former Bryan County assistant coach Cassandra Donaldson have improved greatly this season.
“That was a good game for us,” Mincey said of the Metter win. “It was a playoff atmosphere. Tattnall was a 3 p.m. game and we were drained and had tired legs. That’s no excuse. They just shot well and rebounded well.”
Brown turned in one of her best performances of the season at Metter as she had 27 points and 11 rebounds. Wedlow added 19.