By Mike Brown
If Bryan County’s girls want to assure themselves of a spot in the Class A-D1 state playoffs their task is simple: win their three remaining Region 3A-D1 games.
The two top teams in regular season play get an automatic bye into the region tournament semifinals—to be held this year at Woodville-Tompkins—and going into the home stretch the Redskins find themselves in position to lock up second despite Tuesday night’s 63-52 loss at Woodville.
The Wolverines (14-5, 7-0), ranked No. 5 in the state in the latest AJC rankings, gained no worse than a share of first-place with their win over the Redskins. With Savannah High, Metter and Screven remaining they need to win only one of those games to clinch a No. 1 seed for the region tournament.
Bryan County (13-4, 4-3), trails Screven County (10-5, 3-2) in the loss column but has a game remaining with the Gamecocks who must also play Woodville. Screven and Claxton (11-8, 5-3) face off Friday night at Claxton. The Redskins also have Claxton and Metter to play.
If the Redskins are going to pull it off they’ll do it with defense as shown in a crucial 48-37 win at Savannah High last Friday night. They beat McIntosh County Academy, 60-36, the following night in a non-region game.
Clinging to a 33-30 lead going into the fourth quarter Coach Mario Mincey’s team ramped up the defense against the Blue Jackets and won going away for a crucial road win.
Going into the contest Mincey knew it was going to be a battle and it was a nip-and-tuck contest until the fourth when Bryan County, thanks to Wedlow and its defensive pressure, was able to get control of the game.
Wedlow scored 25 points to lead the win, scoring 13 of her team’s 15 fourth quarter points. Ashanti Brown added 14 and dominated on the boards. Brown is averaging 13 points and 12 rebounds per game. Soniya White scored five and senior Kenzie Stucker added four, all coming at the free throw line.
Savannah scored the first basket of the fourth quarter after two minutes of play. Wedlow then made a bank shot from the lane in heavy traffic, added two free throws following a steal by sophomore Katelyn King and Brown scored underneath following another steal by King for a 39-32 lead.
King, along with freshman Liz Harvey and senior Za’yana Hankerson, gave the Redskins several quality minutes throughout the game and were especially effective on the defensive end in the fourth.
After the Blue Jackets’ Paris Washington hit a three-pointer Bryan County went on a 7-0 run to secure the win. Of the Redskins’ fourth quarter points 11 came off steals.
Mincey emphasizes not giving up more than 40 points per game and all four of the Redskins losses have come when they have failed to meet that standard.