The Briarwood Academy varsity basketball teams are taking identical 3-4 records into the Christmas break.
The Lady Bucs notched up wins over Thomas Jefferson, 47-21 in Louisville on Monday, December 12, and Augusta Prep, 57-35 at Briarwood the following night, Tuesday, Dec. 13. But the Lady Bucs fell to Augusta Christian just days later 47-34.
Briarwood's girls coach Clayton Parrish also had to coach the boys team for the game against Augusta Christian.
Photo by Jim Blaylock/Morris News Service
Meanwhile, the Bucs took a 41-32 win over TJ, but couldn't pull out a win over Augusta Prep, losing 64-53, or Augusta Christian, dropping last weekend's game 68-41.
"They are so much more improved from the last time we played them," Augusta Christian boy's basketball coach Marty Griffin said. "I'd hate to play them again in February because it seems like every month they're getting better."
The girls are also steadily improving, according to Coach Clayton Parrish.
"We went into the game (against TJ) wanting to establish something inside, and we did a really good job of that with Cassie (Pickrell) and Beth (Gerlach)," Coach Parrish said.
Coach Parrish did double-duty during the games at Augusta Christian, filling in as the Boys' Coach in for Christian Tiller, who was sidelined by surgery. Coach Tiller should be back for Briarwood's games against Pinewood Dec. 29.
"I don't usually do that," Coach Parrish said. "I was just filling in. I coached both teams for eight years and wouldn't want to go back to that."
The Briarwood boys 68-41 loss on Saturday was a much improved effort from their 43 point loss to the Lions only two weeks ago. Freshman guard Hughlon Mays teamed with junior Joseph Batrous for 11 points each to lead the Bucs.
On the girl's side, the Lady Bucs took a 47-34 loss at Augusta Christian. The Briarwood girls trailed by only six points at halftime thanks to a strong 1-3-1 zone defense.
Briarwood's Cassie Pickrell throws the ball back over her shoulder to keep it in bounds during a game against Augusta Christian
Photo by Jim Blaylock/Morris News Service
"It frustrated the mess out of us," Augusta Christian coach Keith Walton said. "They're a great team."
Briarwood's Cassie Pickrell led the team with a game-high 15 points.
"We can really take a lot out of this," Coach Parrish said. "When our girls played them two weeks ago we were down 43 points after the third quarter. This time we were only down six points after three."
In earlier action, Pickrell led the scoring against TJ with 12 points, followed by Gerlach with 10 points.
"Also, our passing was a lot better, and we executed in the half court a lot better than we have been," Coach Parrish said.
The girls "didn't play as well" against Augusta Prep the following day, but still had little trouble in the 57-35 win.
"I think we were a little leg weary from playing on Monday night. Also, what with it being exam week, the girls had had a long day," Coach Parrish said.
Senior Katie Reese had one of the best games of her career, scoring career high 28 points.
"Katie did a good job of taking the ball to the basket. The majority of her baskets were off the dribble," Coach Parrish said.
The Lady Bucs "B" team played one game last week, a 34-26 win over Thomas Jefferson.
Eight grader Brittini Phelps had a lot of steals and converted many of them into lay-ups to lead the team in scoring with 17 points.
After struggling for three quarters, the Bucs finally put it together in the fourth and final quarter to outscore the very determined Jaguars 13-2 and pull ahead for a 41-32 win.
Davis Griffin led the scoring with 16 points, followed by Joesbury with 11 points.
Fouls and missed free throws were a major factor in the Bucs' 64-53 loss to Augusta Prep.
Senior Joseph Batrous led the team with 16 points, followed by Williford who managed to score 12 points in spite of spending the first quarter on the bench. Sophomore Hughlon Mays came off the bench and scored 11 points for the Bucs.
The Bucs will play one game over the holidays.
The varsity teams will play host to Pinewood Christian Academy of Bellville on Thursday, Dec. 29. The Lady Bucs will play at 3 p.m., followed by the Bucs at 4:30 p.m.
Briarwood will begin their GISA Region 1AA competition by playing host to Curtis Baptist School of Augusta on Tuesday, Jan. 3, with all four teams playing. The "B" Lady Bucs will play at 4 p.m., followed by the "B" Bucs at 5 p.m. The Lady Bucs will play at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Bucs at 8 p.m.