The Briarwood Academy basketball teams have plunged into their GISA Region 1AA schedule, playing seven games in 11 days, all region contests.
"Every game is key from here on out. This will be, by far, our toughest stretch," said Clayton Parrish, varsity girls coach. "We're going to have to stay focused."
The varsity teams finished their non-region schedule last Friday in Augusta, with wins over Augusta Prep.
Down three points, going into the fourth quarter, the Lady Bucs changed their defense and outscored the Lady Cavaliers 22-5 in the fourth for a 57-43 win.
"We had been giving up too many easy shots in the first three quarters in our press, so we came out of the press in the fourth quarter," Coach Parrish said. "We did a real good job with our half court defense."
Coach Parrish was especially pleased with the play of posts, senior Beth Gerlach and sophomore Cassie Pickrell, who "got the ball inside for good high percentage shots and rebounded well."
Gerlach led the Lady Bucs in scoring with 17 points, followed by Pickrell with 15 points. Senior Katie Reese scored 13 points for the Lady Bucs.
The Bucs chipped away a nine point first quarter deficit to six points down at the half and one point down at the end of the third before breaking loose on a 16-point fourth quarter scoring spree to win their game by nine, 61-52.
"It was a really, really good win, and it was a team effort," Bucs' Coach Christian Tiller said."It's a real confidence builder, beating a AAA School when you're AA."
Junior Joseph Batrous led the Bucs with 28 points, hitting four three-pointers and six of seven free throws. Sophomore post Dave Joesbury returned to the line-up (from an ankle injury) to score 12 points for the Bucs, followed by junior Davis Griffin with 11 points.
The Bucs and Lady Bucs began their region run last Tuesday with perennial powerhouse, Brentwood School in Sandersville.
"It's going tobe tough to start off the week at Brentwood, especially considering that for the last four years, we've played Brentwood for the region title," said Lady Bucs Coach Clayton Parrish.
Coach Tiller agrees.
"We're going there, which makes it even harder," he said. "Every game in our region is going to be a battle. Looking over the scores, it seems like everybody can beat everybody."
The teams will travel to Monticello on Friday to play Piedmont Academy, beginning with the JV teams at 3:30. The Lady Bucs will play at 6 p.m., followed by the Bucs at 7:30 p.m.
Monroe Academy of Forsyth, will travel to Briarwood this Saturday, for three games. The "B" Lady Bucs will play at noon rather than 1 p.m. as originally scheduled, followed by the Lady Bucs at 1:30 p.m. and the Bucs at 3 p.m.
The Bucs will play again on Monday, January 16, hosting Edmund Burke Academy of Waynesboro. The "B" boys will play at 4 p.m., followed by the Lady Bucs at 5:30 p.m. and then the Bucs at 7 p.m.
The following day, Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Bucs will travel to Augusta to face Curtis Baptist School. Both "B" teams will play against Curtis, beginning with the girls at 4 p.m. and then followed by the boys at 5 p.m. The Lady Bucs' game will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Bucs at 8 p.m.