The word disappointing was the only way that Briarwood Academy head coach Clayton Parrish could describe his team's 48-36 loss to David Emanuel Academy in the Region 1-A Basketball Tournament played at Briarwood Academy on Monday night.
"It was a very disappointing loss for us," said coach Parrish following the game. "We were hoping we could beat David Emanuel Academy and win the region championship. It just wasn't meant to be, I guess."
Now that the chapter has been closed on winning the region title, the Lady Buccaneers have set their sights even higher -- winning the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class A State Basketball Championship. The Lady Buccaneers traveled to Andrews College to take on Fullerton Academy on Wednesday. Coverage of that game will be included in a story in next week's edition of The McDuffie Mirror .
After the game, the Lady Buccaneers were bestowed the trophy as Region 1-A runners-up. Three individual players also were honored -- named to the All-Region Team. They included Brittini Phelps, Maria Celeste Johnson and Emily Henderson.
In the region championship game against David Emanuel's Lady Eagles, the Lady Buccaneers did everything within their power to catch the eventual winning team off-guard.
"I thought we played them pretty good n the first half," said coach Parrish.
The Lady Buccaneers limited the Lady Eagles, the No. 1 ranked team in Class A basketball in the state, to just six points during the first eight minutes of the game. During that same time period, Briarwood scored just four points.
Things weren't much different in the second period with the exception of Brittini Phelps connecting on a 3-pointer that gave the Lady Bucs a slim 7-6 lead with 6:17 left in first half action. After getting down 10-7, Briarwood junior Maggie Keene hit three key free-throws on two different occasions to tie the game at 10-10 with 2:52 to play in the first half.
Briarwood later led for the second time in the game, 12-10 before the Lady Eagles came back to knot the score once again. At halftime, DEA clung to a 14-12 lead.
In the third period, Phelps hit a 3-pointer that gave the Lady Bucs back the lead, 15-14. But the lead didn't hold up long, as DEA charged back with four unanswered baskets, including a pair of free-throws and two 3-pointers. They then held a 25-15 lead -- one they never relinquished.
The Lady Bucs weren't about to lie down and just let the Lady Eagles have their way with them. Instead, they continued to fight back and actually drew to within three points, 34-31 following another 3-pointer from Phelps midway of the fourth period.
Phelps led all Briarwood scorers with 15 points. Other players scoring for the Lady Buccaneers included: Keene with 9, Lizzie Keen, 6, Johnson, 2, Morgan Reese, 2 and Henderson, 2 points, respectively.