PEMBROKE -- Bryan County’s boys took a big step toward respectability over the weekend as they rode the scoring of freshman Elijah Mincey to pick up wins over Jenkins County and Southeast Bulloch.
Mincey poured in 40 points Friday night as the Redskins overcame a 15-point first half deficit to beat the War Eagles, 69-67, in a Region 3A Public game, and then followed up with 17 in an impressive 67-47 win over Southeast Bulloch on Saturday night. He is now averaging 18.1 points per game.
The wins upped the Redskins’ record to 5-3 and allowed them to surpass last year’s four-win season. Bryan County, which played at ECI on Tuesday night, will be at home Friday to take on Claxton.
Mincey’s final basket of the Jenkins game came with 24 seconds to play as the Redskins closed on a 13-2 run to win it.
It wasn’t all offense for the Redskins down the stretch as it was a ramped-up defense that hounded the War Eagles into numerous mistakes on which they capitalized.
It was 65-56 with 5:15 to play when Mincey scored and Tanner Ennis followed with a pair of free throws. At that point Anderson ordered the Redskins into a press and the War Eagles came unglued.
“We don’t have any quit, even when we’re at a disadvantage, when the ball goes the other way,” Anderson said. “We respond to the challenge.
“We got behind at Screven County (64-54 region loss) and kept battling back,” Anderson said. “We got it down to four over there but couldn’t get it done. This was a big win for us.”
While Mincey’s 40 obviously was the highlight of the night he got support from Jordan Flannel with 12 points and Jamal Campbell added 11, five coming in the final three minutes.
“To come back and win like this is very encouraging,” Ennis said. “We were down but we never quit. It feels great.”
Anderson was counting on the win generating momentum going into the next night’s game with unbeaten Southeast Bulloch which had won, 51-44, at Class 7A Camden County on Friday night.
It looked like the Redskins were content to rest on their laurels as the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 12-1 lead before battling back to trail 36-30 at the half.
“I did not call a time out,” said Anderson of the slow start. “I wanted to see how we responded.”
The second half was all Bryan County, especially when it came to defense.
While Mincey, Campbell (15 points) and DeVontae Bowers (12) were leading the offense the Redskins turned in an excellent defensive performance against the Jackets.
“We held them to 11 points,” Anderson said. “In the fourth quarter we gave up only four free throws. I hope we can use this weekend to help us move forward.”