The Bryan County Lady Redskins basketball team finished 14-14 last season, an even keel .500 winning percentage. But that isn’t enough for Lady Redskins coach Mario Mincey.
“Last season was the first year that we have not made the AA state playoffs after making it three seasons in a row. We got beat in the region tournament, ending our season. I think not making it back to the state tournament is certainly a motivation for this season,” Mincey said.
Bryan County ended the season with a three-game skid, finally being put out of the region tournament against St. Vincent’s Academy of Savannah. Mincey is confident in the upcoming campaign. which started with a scrimmage Saturday night against Jenkins County.
The Lady Redskins do not have much height, but as a guard-oriented offense and a fly-around defense, Mincey believes his 2015-16 edition should be one of the better teams in the region.
“Vidalia was the region champion, so obviously they are going to be a good basketball team. Jeff Davis and Long County certainly played some good basketball last season. I think this season we will be right in there amongst them as one of the best teams in the region,” Mincey said.
Bryan County returns senior guard Kaitlyn Leggett, who averaged eight points a game, along with juniors Julianne Brown and Yasmine Crawford. Brown is considered one of the best players in this part of the state, earning All-State honors last season by averaging 18 points and six rebounds per game.
Crawford, standing at 5-foott-10, plays forward, but is able to the handle the ball and gives the Lady Redskins an inside presence. An All-Region performer as sophomore, Crawford grabbed eight boards a game. Sophomore Kamorie Jackson will be the starting point guard.
Mincey has been a fixture from the bench for several seasons for the Lady Redskins, and has a brand of fast and fundamentally sound basketball.
Offensively, the Lady Redskins will space the floor and move the basketball quickly to create high-percentage shots. Defensively, Bryan County will play a mix of man and zone depending on the situation. However, you will see an up-tempo press that has helped the Lady Redskins average nine to 10 steals per game.
“We pride ourselves on defense. I was watching the middle school practice, and they were running a zone and one player wasn’t moving real quick, thinking a zone was not an active defense.
But we are teaching them to play it right, and they are learning how to play a zone right. The coaches do a good job, and it helps us with the varsity. But defense is important to us as a team. Our quickness on defense will give us more offensive opportunities,” Mincey said.