The Briarwood Lady Bucs finished last week's GISA Region 1AA tournament in slightly better shape than the Runnin' Bucs for seedings in the first two rounds of this year's AA state tournament at Middle Georgia College in Cochran.
The Lady Bucs, who ended up with a third place finish in the region tournament, were scheduled to play Arlington Christian Academy of Fairburn, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the first round of the GISA AA state tournament. Arlington Christian is the number two seed from Region 4AA.
Both the Bucs and the Lady Bucs first and second round playoff games will be held at Middle Georgia in Cochran.
"It's going to be tough," Coach Clayton Parrish said. "We're going up against one of the strongest regions (Region 4) in the state.
"It's going to be our speed versus their size," he continued. "What we're going to have to do is keep it a full court game versus a half court game.
The Runnin' Bucs, whose two region tournament losses were by one point each, finished fourth place in the region tournament and will play Region 4's, number one team, Calvary Christian Academy of Columbus, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the first round of boys' play in the GISA AA state tournament. Not only is Calvary Christian the top ranked team in Region 4, they're also the top-ranked AA team in the state, according to Coach Christian Tiller.
Led by seniors Katie Reese, who scored 18 points, and Beth Gerlach, who scored 11 points, the Lady Bucs had an easy time of it in the first round of the Region 1AA tournament held last week at Brentwood School in Sandersville. The Lady Bucs' first round 61-32 win over Monroe Academy of Forsyth guaranteed them a trip to the state playoffs.
"We created a lot of turnovers and got a lot of easy lay-ups," Coach Parrish said.
The Lady Bucs didn't fare as well on Thursday night in their region tournament semi-final against Gatewood School of Eatonton, falling 51-37 to the Lady Gators.
"Gatewood just shot the ball really, really well and hit their free throws in the fourth quarter," Coach Parrish said.
Sophomore Cassie Pickrell led the Lady Bucs with 13 points.
The consolation game on Friday belonged to the Lady Bucs who took advantage of an injury to Brentwood's top ball handler to topple the Lady Eagles 53-41.
"With their best ball handler out of the game, we were able to put a lot of pressure on the ball and create a lot of turnovers," Coach Parrish said.
That consolation game win earned the Lady Bucs the third place seed going into the state tourney.
Gerlach scored 17 points for the Lady Bucs against Brentwood, followed by Reese with 15 points and sophomore Whitney Carani with 12 points.
The Runnin' Bucs started the tourney as the number two seed in the region.
After a 53-26 first round win over Curtis Baptist, the Bucs suffered two heartbreaking one-point losses, 51-50 to Brentwood and 49-48 to Piedmont Academy, to end the region tourney as the region's fourth place seed in the state tournament.
Junior Joseph Batrous led the Bucs against Curtis with 15 points, followed closely by sophomore Dave Joesbury with 13 points.
The Bucs, who split games with Brentwood during the regular season, took on the Eagles, who had the home court advantage, in the second round on Thursday.
After a close game throughout, the Eagles pulled ahead by one point, 50-51, for the second round win, throwing the Bucs into the consolation game.
Batrous, the only Buc in double figures, led the scoring with 17 points.