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Coach is proud of Bucs despite loss to Wildcats

In their second game of the season, the Briarwood Academy Runnin' Bucs varsity boys' basketball team fell to the 4-AAA Westminster Schools of Augusta Wildcats by a score of 62-45.

The nonregion contest took place Nov. 22 in Augusta.

Briarwood is now 1-1-0 overall after a Nov. 21 win over Westminster Christian Academy, 61-23. The team has yet to play a game within the 1-AA region.

Head Coach Bo Fleming said he is proud of the team for their efforts so far, especially in the wake of a football season plagued by injuries.

Many Briarwood players compete on both the football and basketball teams, including quarterbacks Taylor Coxwell and Dalton Reese, each coping with a broken leg.

"They played as hard as they could today," Fleming said. "A lot of players are really stepping up because others are injured."

The starting five for the Nov. 22 game were Ryan Pritchett, Steven Parris, Spencer Hadden, Tyler Daniel and Colt Phelps.

The first quarter started slowly, remaining scoreless for nearly two minutes until Daniel scored the first points of the game.

Briarwood was quickly up 4-2 but lost the lead after a Westminster free throw and field goal made the score 5-4 Wildcats. Westminster held onto the lead for the rest of the game.

The Wildcats scored 18 unanswered points in the first quarter and the beginning of the second, when Briarwood's Pritchett scored after one minute of second-quarter play.

Briarwood was plagued by fouls, allowing Westminster to score eight points on free throws alone.

The teams scored goals back and forth for the rest of the quarter, with Briarwood scoring the final two points. The half ended with the Wildcats up 37-19.

In the second half, Briarwood escaped the penalties of the first half, but Westminster scored the first five points of the half. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 52-29 in favor of the Wildcats.

The Runnin' Bucs staged a late comeback in the last three minutes of the game but were trailing too much to regain the lead. They scored 14 unanswered points before a Westminster player scored the final goal at the buzzer, bringing the game to its final score of 62-45.

Fleming said everyone played very well, particularly senior standouts Pritchett, Hadden and Daniel.

"We learned we can play with people," Fleming said. "Our biggest struggle in my four years here has been dealing with full court man-to-man, and we handled the full court press today."

All basketball games against Edmund Burke Academy scheduled for Monday, Nov. 28, were cancelled. The Buccaneers played against the 1-A region Nathanael Greene Academy at home on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Their next games will be in the Garden City Classic today through Saturday at Augusta Preparatory Day School.

Region play for the Runnin' Bucs will begin Dec. 16 against Gatewood Schools.

Web posted on Thursday, December 01, 2011

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