The sounds of basketballs bouncing and shoes squeaking on the hardwood courts finally came to a halt last Wednesday for the Bryan County Redskins basketball squads. Both the boys and girls went down in defeat in the first round of the Region 3-A Tournament held at Emanuel County Institute.
The girls faced a tough but familiar foe in the Calvary Cavaliers, and the Lady Cavs came away with a commanding 75-28 victory over the Lady Skins. The Bryan County boys also had their hands full as their first round contest was against a very talented and confident ECI squad who squeaked out a home win with a close score of 36-29.
The Redskins may not have lit up the scoreboards much this basketball season and you won’t find but two ‘W’s penciled in the scorebooks between the boys and girls teams, but there is one thing that does stand out from this season and that is the heart that each and every Bryan County basketball player showed throughout this long and demanding season.
Coach Mario Mincey knew he had a young, inexperienced Lady Redskin squad. It became all too apparent when that inexperience raised its persistent head in almost every game this year. Mincey summed it up best with the following quote: "We are young and lack experience, but my girls do not lack when it comes to desire and heart. This program will succeed as these freshmen and sophomores learn my philosophy and learn the game of basketball. Their heart and desire are traits that can’t always be taught. I am constantly proud of the effort these girls give as we struggle through these times of learning and maturing on the court."
Coach Keith Bazemore and his Redskin young men had challenges of their own this season. Not having anyone standing over six feet tall proved to be an obstacle. They ran, shot, passed, dribbled and battled for everything they could get each and every game. That effort put the team at the cusp of victory numerous times this season. Several heartbreaking close losses can be seen behind the one win the team managed to secure.
Coach Bazemore used the following word more than once this season when describing his team’s performance and that word is ‘inconsistent’. The Redskin men had some talent but using that talent for four quarters every game seemed to be the haunting difference in those close losses this year. It’s easy to come out and get pumped up when you’re winning games, but it really shows what kind of heart you have when losses are all you see yet you continue to give good effort at practice and during games. As the basketball season ends it won’t be how many games they won that will be remembered, but the ‘heart’ that these Redskin roundballers showed throughout the year.