PEMBROKE -- Bryan County’s boys solidified their grip on second place in the Region 3A Public race with a 45-37 win at Jenkins County last Friday night and the girls remained in a dogfight for one of the top two spots in beating the Lady War Eagles, 39-19 for their 10th straight win.
In their first meeting of the season Bryan County needed 40 points from Elijah Mincey including the game winner with 20 seconds to play to beat Jenkins, 69-67. In that contest the Redskins trailed by as much as 15 points and by 11 at the start of the fourth quarter.
No such rally was needed in the second go round as Bryan County, trailing 9-8 at the end of the first quarter, outscored the War Eagles 23-9 in the second and third quarters for a comfortable 31-18 lead with eight minutes to play.
“We took a different approach,” Coach Brent Anderson said. “For the first time (this season) we wanted to slow the game down with them.”
“It was frustrating for them, and we played great defense.”
With five region games left starting with a Friday night home game against ECI the Redskins are 13-5 overall, 7-2 in region play. That leaves them one game behind Portal (8-4, 5-1) in the loss column and two games ahead of Jenkins County (7-9, 5-4).
Bryan County plays at Portal on Feb. 1. The top two teams in regular season play gets a bye into the region tournament semi-finals which means an automatic berth in the state playoffs.
Mincey led the Redskins with 14 points and Jamal Campbell added 13 while Tanner Ellis had six. Jamari Flannel, Chris Winfree and Devontae Bowers added four apiece.
The Lady Redskins are currently in third place behind Screven County (11-3, 7-1) and Claxton (8-5, 6-1). If they are to finish second or better it will require them to win out starting Friday with ECI. Jenkins County (5-10, 3-5) is a distant fourth.
Bryan County plays at Claxton on Jan. 25 looking to atone for a 41-35 loss. Claxton and Screven still must play one another so the race is a long way from over.
“It was another good defensive effort and team win,” Coach Mario Mincey said. “We continue to take the one game at a time approach and stay focused on our goal.”
Niyah Shuman scored 14 points and added two steals to lead a trio of Redskins in double figures. Anderia Jackson added 11 and Kenzie Stucker had 10 along with four rebounds and three steals.
Jackson and freshman center Ashanti Brown both had good nights. Jackson added six rebounds, three assists and two steals while Brown, although she scored only two points, was a force defensively as she had 11 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals.