Action-packed thriller - that is what Bryan County basketball fans watched this past Friday night as the Redskin boys nailed down their first win of the season with a 68-52 region victory over the Eagles of Jenkins County.
Bryan County came out of the blocks running with a precise, fast-break offense combined with some sticky, full-court pressure that jump-started a train of momentum that had Jenkins playing catch-up early in the contest.
Led by point guard Ivey Mutcherson, Bryan County shooters made some quick baskets and heard nothing but net on the majority of their shots as they took an 18-9 first quarter lead.
Enthusiastic Redskin fans watched their boys continue their above average shooting and fast paced offense as the second quarter clock ticked on down. A nine point lead increased as the determined Redskins systematically put 17 more points on the board and trotted into the locker room with a 35-18 halftime lead.
The Redskins’ momentum continued to roll in the second half as Bryan County continued to impress with their relentless defense and some more improved shooting. Ivey Mutcherson (13), Willie Deloach (12), Thurman Gaines (11), and Willie Harris (10) led the way with double-digit scoring as the Redskins saw the final score in their favor with a 68-52 victory.
"The key to tonight's victory was good defense - especially in the first 15 minutes of the game," said Coach Keith Bazemore. "We came out in our full-court pressure and it gave Jenkins some trouble. Tonight we anticipated, rather than reacted, on defense and that made the difference in us getting our first win."
Coach Mario Mincey and his Lady Skins had their hands full as Jenkins County brought their winning reputation and a No. 3 Region ranking into the game. The Lady Eagles proved to be too much to handle for the still winless Lady Skins as they suffered another loss with a 62-29 score. Leading the way in scoring for Bryan County in this contest was Samantha Howard with 11 and adding nine of her own was Brittany Slater.
"We are just having to go through some growing pains right now," said Mincey. "But I am proud of the effort my girls continue to show."
Bryan County turned right around and hosted two more games on Saturday night as the ECI Bulldogs brought their proud, and talented squads to Pembroke for some more Region action. After almost a two hour starting delay due to no referees, the fans finally saw their first tipoff.
ECI found out early on that they were in a scrappy battle with Bryan County as the Redskin boys jumped out to a 7-2 lead. Seeming to still have the adrenalin flowing from Friday night's victory, Bryan County pushed the ball up the court quickly and their full-court pressure slowed down a very confident and talented Bulldog squad. ECI continued to be patient and work their offensive strategies and went in at halftime with a 19-13 lead.
The second half found Bryan County missing some easy layups and open shots and that opened the door for ECI as they turned their game up a notch and went on to defeat the Redskins 58-27. Leading scorers for Bryan County were Ivey Mutcherson, Willie Deloach, and Winston Johnson, all contributing 6 points each.
The girls game saw a determined, but out-talented Redskin squad hold their own early against the talented Lady Dogs, but ECI was just too much to keep on a leash down the stretch as they relied heavily on their big center, Valese McAllister, who led the Lady Bulldogs with 24 points on the night.
Leading the scoring for Bryan County in their 49-29 loss was Samantha Howard (10), and Brittany Slater (8).
Bryan County will host Calvary on Friday night, then travel to Savannah to take on Savannah Country Day on Saturday.