The hometown faithful that were in attendance this past Tuesday night for basketball action at Bryan County gym saw the Redskin boys and girls suffer a defeat at the hands of the 3-AA Screven County Gamecocks.
There was a deeper story to tell besides two losses though as the two Redskin squads showed some of their best playing to date against the higher region and highly-ranked powerhouse teams from Screven.
Coach Mario Mincey’s girls squad lost 59-30 to the 13-2 Lady Gamecocks, but he recognized that Screven "is ranked in the top 10 in the state, but my girls went out and competed hard. They could have easily given up, but instead they brought with them all the things we had worked on in practice and applied it to the game. I can’t ask more than that from them."
The ladies of Screven had three six-foot-plus players and at least one Division I prospect on their talent laden team, but it was also was apparent that the Lady Skins have continued to work on fundamentals and team chemistry as they clearly battled to the very end of this contest.
BCHS seniors Tara Miles and Brittany Slater led and motivated their team in their never-say-die approach to the tough 3-AA foes. Improvement and maturity are two attributes that could aptly be applied to the Lady Skins this night.
Before the Bryan County boys took the court, whispers of a big blowout by Screven County were circulating throughout the stands, but the 67-59 final score showed that was not to be the case.
Instead, the boys team put in what was undoubtedly their best performance thus far this season.
The 12-6 Screven team started the contest with two Division I prospects on the floor. Fans saw a Bryan County team that seemed calm amidst a storm, and as the evening progressed, watched what may very well could be the best home game of the year. The boys were patient and disciplined as they worked their offense and looked for the best shot. Seemingly unscathed at the intimidating odds they were up against, the Redskin troopers battled tooth and nail all the way to the final buzzer.
Down by 10 going into halftime, the Skins continued to produce as they saw the lead cut to only three as the fourth quarter began.
The fourth quarter saw the hometown fans on their feet and cheering loudly in recognition of their team’s effort, despite what the scoreboard read.
The Redskins were led at the basket by three double digit scorers. Justin Harrison led with 19 points while Willie Deloach scored 14 and Willie Harris scored 12.
"I was really pleased with the effort I saw from our guys tonight – I really was," said Coach Keith Bazemore. "We were 100 percent from the free throw line which was great, but it boiled down to some really simple things. Some simple block outs on the weak side hurt us, but we missed four uncontested layups in the fourth quarter that could have had us right where we needed to be in the last seconds of the game to get the victory. We tried a different rotation, personnel wise, that seemed to work pretty well. This was probably the most complete game we have played all year and is a good sign for the remainder of the season."
Although the Bryan County bunch notched another loss into the scorebook, positive things and feelings were circulating on this midweek evening of roundball competition at Bryan County gym.
The Skins faced Richmond Hill in a big cross county rivalry Saturday night in Pembroke after a Jan. 18 contest in Portal.