The Briarwood Buccaneers lost their final three basketball games by only five total points, the final loss by three points, 47-50, to the AA's top-ranked team, Calvary Christian Academy, in the first round of state playoffs last Thursday at Middle Georgia College in Cochran.
"Calvary Christian is supposed to be the number one team in the state, and we gave them all they could handle. They played their hearts out," Coach Christian Tiller said of the Bucs.
Only one Calvary player was able to score in double figures and that was "Edmund Price, No. 21, 6'6", who scored a lot of buckets off offensive rebounds.
"When we went up by three points (with only about 1:30 left in the game), he hit a three-pointer in the corner, and it really seemed to lift their team," Coach Tiller said.
Junior Joseph Batrous, the Bucs' leading scorer for the year, scored 22 points for the Bucs, followed by sophomore Dave Joesbury with nine points and junior Davis Griffin with eight points.
"I'm very proud of my boys," Coach Tiller said. "They played hard for us all year. I just wish I could have rewarded them with a few wins at the end of the season."
Senior Blake Stitcher was the other starter. Stitcher's value to the team was in rebounding, according to Coach Tiller, who said Stitcher did "a lot of dirty work that there's no points for."
The team's only other senior, Jason Dunham, played basketball for the first time this season and used his height and size under the basket.
The Bucs finished their season with a record of 14-11.
"We're only going to get better," Coach Tiller says of the future. "We've got a good core coming back from our starting five."
Four of this year's starting five will be returning - Batrous, Joesbury, Griffin and junior Seth Williford.