By Mike Brown
There’s no in-between, it seems, for the Bryan County girls: they either win big or lose big.
Of the Redskins’ 14 games this year all but one has been decided by double digits. The lone exception was an excruciating 50-48 Region 3A-D1 loss Screven County last Friday.
Bryan County (11-3, 3-2), which is beating opponents by an average of 24 points per game, came back the next night to post a 55-42 win at Southeast Bulloch.
Prior to the game at Screven County the Redskins had posted their seventh straight win with a 45-9 win at Memorial Day School and was ranked No. 10 in the state by the AJC. However, they dropped out of the rankings after losing to the Gamecocks.
Coach Mario Mincey’s team will be looking to stay in the thick of things in the region race when it plays at Savannah High on Friday night. A win over the Blue Jackets would set up a rematch with region leader Woodville-Tompkins next Tuesday night at Woodville.
The Wolverines are ranked No. 5 and beat Bryan County by 23 points, earlier this season. The Redskins will have a non-region game at home on Saturday against McIntosh County Academy.
There was also good news last Friday on the boys side as Coach Brent Anderson’s resurgent team (5-9, 3-2) followed a 64-49 win at Memorial Day with a 64-38 region win over Screven County before losing to SEB, 75-71, the following night.
The Redskins will face a strong test at No. 8 Savannah High (12-4, 3-1) at they seek to atone for an earlier 49-44 loss to the Blue Jackets.
While the loss at Screven was tough to absorb if recent scores between common opponents can be used as a gauge Bryan County is much improved since the start of the season. South Effingham, who beat the Redskins by 32 points at the start of the season, beat Glynn Academy by 14 points last week, two games after Bryan County beat the Terrors by 33.
“We don’t think about or worry about stuff like that,” Mincey said. “Glynn is down from its usual standards. They’re a young team, we’re younger, but we’re playing pretty well.”
It appears the region race is may be a battle between Woodville and everyone else but Mincey, knowing an injury or something else freakish could turn a season upside down, is not conceding anything.
“Woodville is a good, solid team,” Mincey said. “We know Claxton is good, Screven County is better and you can’t just walk into Savannah High and expect to win. There are too many games left to play.”
This was looking to be a rebuilding season as the Redskins returned only two seniors: shooting guard Kenzie Stucker and Za’yan Hankerson who hasn’t played since the third game due to injury.
However, things changed when Kayley Wedlow transferred from Statesboro, and sophomore center Ashanti Brown stepped up her game this summer.
Wedlow is averaging 23.2 points per game and has given the Redskins the scorer they’ve been missing since Olonna Rawls graduated and took her 2,276 career points to Columbus State University.
Brown, talented but still a work in progress, is averaging 10.8 points and 12 rebounds per game, while Stucker and freshman Jasmine Mikell are averaging nine points each.
“We’ve been able to get production from our bench players,” Mincey said. “I challenged them to be better and they have.”
Before she got injured Hankerson was the top player coming off the bench but Mincey said he is getting good play from freshman Elizabeth Harvey, 5-9 sophomore Katelyn King and sophomore guard Nevaeh Lovett.