By Kevin Price
For GCS Athletics
So, here we go again.
The Brunswick High and Glynn Academy boys basketball teams are set to square off a third time this season on Wednesday night when they collide in the Region 2-AAAAAA semifinals at the GA gym.
The game will be one of four played Wednesday inside the Glass Palace on the south end of town as GA is hosting both the boys and girls tournaments by virtue of the Lady Terrors winning the regular-season girls championship.
The region tourneys alternate between the boys league winner in the regular season and the girls winner from year to year.
Also on Wednesday, the Brunswick girls will take on Bradwell Institute at 3:30 p.m. to begin the action with the first girls semifinal.
At 5 p.m., Effingham and Richmond Hill will face off in the first boys semifinal.
The Glynn girls will meet Richmond Hill in the second girls semifinal scheduled for 6:30 p.m. with the Pirates and Terrors closing out the slate with their matchup set for an 8 p.m. tip.
The girls winners will play Friday also at Glynn for the region title and top seed for the upcoming Class AAAAAA state tournament as will the two boys winners from Wednesday. The championship games are scheduled for 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Friday’s schedule will start out with the 3:30 girls consolation game followed by the 5 p.m. boys third-place game.
The Lady Terrors won last year’s girls region championship while Brunswick has won the boys crown the last three seasons.
Last season, the Pirates also had to get by Glynn in the semifinals on their way to another region title after splitting with the Terrors during the regular season.
This year, the Pirates swept the Terrors in the regular season, but were fortunate to do so. Brunswick knocked off Glynn back on Jan. 3 in the Palace, winning 69-52 in that first game between the rivals.
When they met on Jan. 24 at Brunswick Square Garden on the BHS campus, a victory seemed improbable with Glynn leading 52-35 early in the fourth quarter. Yet, the Pirates pulled out what head coach Chris Turner called one of the best comebacks he has been part of as a coach as the Pirates completely erased their deficit and proceeded to come away with a 62-60 triumph over the Terrors.
BHS overcame a career-high 36 points by Glynn junior standout Max Hrdlicka who poured in 33 second-half points including 19 in the third period as Glynn built the big lead.
But Brunswick got another huge performance from senior forward Jaden Dunham and also clutch play in the comeback from juniors Tyrese Jones and Xavier Bean.
Dunham was named the Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame Player of the Game after finishing with 24 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Jones, who hit several key shots in the fourth quarter, finished with 22 points while Bean added 10 for the Pirates.
The BHS trio will look to lead the Pirates past Glynn a third time on Wednesday to get the team in position to claim a fourth consecutive region title.
Of course, Glynn figures to need at least a double-figure scoring night from Hrdlicka to have a chance at the upset of the Pirates in the semifinal.
Brunswick, the top seed, is ranked No. 10 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution coming into the week. The Pirates are 17-8 overall and were 7-1 in region games this season. Their only loss in the region came last Tuesday at home against Richmond Hill, but the Pirates bounced back to win at Effingham on Friday to claim the outright regular-season championship.
Richmond Hill (21-4 overall, 6-2 region) is the No. 2 seed while Effingham (17-4, 4-4) is the No. 3 seed.
The Terrors (8-18, 3-5) are the fourth seed. They defeated Bradwell Institute 58-31 on Monday at home to advance to the semifinal round.
In the girls tournament, Glynn is the heavy favorite to repeat as the region champion. The state’s fifth-ranked team, Glynn (20-4) won all eight of its region games and wasn’t challenged by anyone other than rival Brunswick which lost to the Lady Terrors by eight and four points in their two league meetings.
The top-seeded Lady Terrors will open the region tournament against Richmond Hill, the fourth seed. The Lady Wildcats (16-10 overall, 4-4 region) rolled past Effingham 55-23 at home on Monday to reach the semifinals.
Glynn is led by senior standout and Georgia signee Zoesha Smith who is averaging 20.7 points and 12.4 rebounds a game.
The other girls semifinal between Brunswick and Bradwell amounts to a rubber match as the teams split their regular-season meetings.
The Lady Pirates (16-8, 4-4) defeated the Lady Tigers (18-7, 5-3) by 49-45 back in early December when they played in Brunswick. Bradwell won the second meeting in Hinesville by 48-45 on Jan. 17.
Bradwell comes into Wednesday night ranked No. 10 while the Lady Pirates, led by Keya Daniels, were ranked earlier in the season.
All four teams in the boys and girls tournaments are already assured of state berths. The region champions are guaranteed at least two home games in the state tournaments while the runners-up will be at home in at least the first round. The third- and fourth-place teams will be on the road in the opening round against the first- and second-place team from the opposing region. Region 2 is bracketed against Region 4 in the first round set for next week.
GCS Athletics will have recap stories here on the website after all the action Wednesday and Friday.