The Briarwood basketball teams finished a grueling week with both the Bucs and the Lady Bucs losing to non-region opponents Bulloch Academy and Westminster School of Augusta.
The Bucs' 4-11 record for the season is not a true indicator of the team's strength, according to Coach Bo Fleming.
"Our record doesn't reflect our team's play and the level of competition we've played," Coach Fleming said. "Every team we've played in the non-region schedule will be in the state tournament (in their classification.)"
With three region wins, the Bucs are currently in second place in the GISA Region 1A standings behind undefeated John Hancock Academy.
The Bucs traveled to Statesboro for their third game in four days on Monday, Jan. 19, losing to AA Bulloch Academy, the first place team in Region 1-AA, 83-59, and then followed that loss on Tuesday night with a 67-42 loss to AA Westminster School at Briarwood.
"We played very well for the third game in four days," Coach Bo Fleming said of the Bucs' loss to Bulloch. "We gave them (Bulloch) all they wanted for three quarters. We were in the game until the fourth quarter, and our legs gave out."
The Bucs also suffered the loss in the fourth quarter of junior Trey Stadler, the team's leading rebounder and one of the team's top scorers. Stadler is averaging 13.8 points and 13 rebounds per game. Stadler rolled his ankle early in the fourth quarter and sat out the remainder of the game.
The Bucs led 18-16 at the end of the first quarter and then fell behind 38-33 at the half to Bulloch. The Bucs continued the fight in the third, but fell behind 55-46 by the end of the quarter, eventually losing 83-59.
"I was proud of our effort," Coach Fleming said, "especially going down there and playing on a holiday. We shot our best percentage of the year from the free throw line."
Senior Price Chalker led the Bucs with 20 points, followed by senior Ryan Gerlach with 16 points. Despite not playing in the fourth quarter, Stadler accounted for 11 points and 15 rebounds.
The absence of Stadler, who didn't play the following night in the Bucs' fourth game in five days, hurt the Bucs in their 67-42 loss to a strong team from Westminster School of Augusta.
Chalker led the Bucs with 15 points, followed by Gerlach with 11 points.
With a 6-9 overall record and 3-2 record in region play, the Lady Bucs dropped two non-region games against, "very, very good" teams from Bullock Academy and Westminster School last week.
"Even though we lost the past two games, we are playing our best basketball right now," Coach Clayton Parrish said. "You hate losing, but there are some positives you can take out of both of these games."
The Lady Bucs stayed in the game with Bulloch until the fourth quarter when they were outscored by the Lady Gators 19-10.
"Bulloch is a really fast team, and they just wore us down in the fourth quarter," Coach Parrish said.
Sophomore Maria Johnson led the Lady Bucs with 14 points, followed by junior Brittini Phelps with eight points.
The Lady Bucs had a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 14-13, and then lost one-point to Westminster in the second quarter for a 23-23 tie at the half. Westminster outscored the Lady Bucs 10-5 in the third quarter, forcing the Lady Bucs to play catch-up in the fourth quarter.
"I was proud of our effort," Coach Parrish said. "We really came back in the fourth quarter, and we did that by going to our full court press and creating turnovers. They just did a good job of hitting free throws."
Phelps led the Lady Bucs with 10 points, followed by Johnson with eight points.
The Bucs will get another chance to defeat the region leading Rebels this Friday night, January 30, as Briarwood plays host to John Hancock, beginning with the Lady Bucs at 6 p.m., followed by the Bucs at 7:30 p.m.
The following day, Saturday, Jan. 31, Briarwood will play host to Curtis Baptist School of Augusta, beginning with the B Lady Bucs at 1 p.m., followed by the B Bucs at 2 p.m. The Lady Bucs will play at 3:30 p.m., followed by Bucs at 5 p.m.