Two basketball stars were out sick at Briarwood Academy and practice was limited because of winter weather. It was the worst combination imaginable for the Buccaneers, and as a result they lost another key region game.
The Brentwood Academy Eagles of Sandersville defeated the Bucs, 61-53.
"We would have had a chance to win the game had we not had two players out sick; I really believe that," said Briarwood head coach Bo Fleming.
Tyler Daniel and Colt Phelps were unable to play because of illness.
"We really missed them a lot," said coach Fleming. "I think they would have made a big difference if they could have played."
The loss dropped the Buccaneers' overall record to 5-8 and 1-4 in the GISA Region 1-AA standings.
Over the weekend, Briarwood Academy played two more games. Information about those games, however, was unavailable at press time Monday because students and teachers were out of school for a holiday. A story about those games and those played this week will be featured in next week's edition.
Going into the second quarter, Briarwood Academy senior Steven Gunn hit a basket that knotted the game at 17-17.
The game remained close through the first half, as the Eagles led 31-27.
That all began to change early in the second half and the Eagles managed to forge ahead, shutting down any chance of the Buccaneers mounting a comeback.
Dalton Reese led Briarwood with 18 points. Taylor Coxwell bucketed 9 points, and Ryan Pritchett scored 8.
Coach Fleming praised the performances of Coxwell and Matt McHatton.
"They both stepped it up big for us," said coach Fleming.