The Briarwood Academy Lady Bucs ended their season the way they began, fighting all the way in a close 54-48 loss to an extremely tall Arlington Christian Academy team. The Lady Bucs finished their season with a 15-10 overall record and a second place finish in GISA Region 1AA in regular season play.
"They were big. By far, the tallest team we've played all year," Coach Clayton Parrish said of Arlington. "They had one player who was 6'2", another 6', and several who were about 5'10"."
Consequently, the aspect of the game that hurt the Lady Bucs most was "rebounding, especially in the second half."
The score stayed tight the entire game, with the lead seesawing between the two teams.
With little time left in the game, the Lady Bucs came down court and watched what seemed to be a sure basket bounce back out.
"I still don't know why it didn't go in," Coach Parrish said. "Instead of a one-point game, we had a five-point game."
Senior Katie Reese scored 16 points in her final game for the Lady Bucs while senior Beth Gerlach scored nine points. Sophomore Cassie Pickrell scored 13 points.
The Lady Bucs began the season extremely inexperienced, with only one player who had started the previous year.
"From where we started to where we ended, we made a tremendous improvement," Coach Parrish said. "Just to show you, this year we had 1,560 career points from the entire team. We scored 1,155 of those points this year. Over 73 percent of our career points were scored just this year."
Reese led the team for the season, scoring 292 points for a career total of 541 points scored for the Lady Bucs. Fellow senior Beth Gerlach scored 236 points this season for a career total of 312 points.
This year's team was led by the seniors, according to Coach Parrish. Reese, Gerlach and Melisa Newsome "worked real hard. They weren't vocal leaders. They led by example."
Coach Parrish is expecting the work ethic to carry over into next season when a much more experienced team will take the floor for the season opener.
"We're still going to have some of the same issues we had this year, but if those underclassmen will work as hard as we've done this year, we'll get there," Coach Parrish said.
Next year's team will have three starters returning in Pickrell who scored 263 points for the Lady Bucs, sophomore Whitney Carani, and junior Courtney Price.