By Kevin Price
For GCS Athletics
Three local teams will play for a region championship Friday night when the Region 2-AAAAAA tournament resumes at Glynn Academy.
The Brunswick and Glynn girls will square off in the 6:30 p.m championship after both teams won their semifinal games Wednesday. The Lady Terrors eased past Richmond Hill in their semifinal while the Lady Pirates knocked off Bradwell Institute in the other semifinal.
The boys title contest which will round out this week’s region tournaments will feature Glynn Academy taking on Richmond Hill. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
The Red Terrors pulled off an upset-victory over rival Brunswick High in the second of the two boys semifinals played on Wednesday at the Glass Palace on the GA campus.
Meantime, the Wildcats held off Effingham in the other semifinal matchup to advance to the championship game.
A recap of each of the four games played Wednesday can be found below. A similar recap will be posted on GCS Athletics following the Friday consolation games and the two region championship meetings.
Brunswick 56, Bradwell Institute 43
Brunswick earned a spot in the Friday night championship game by winning the rubber match between the teams this season.
During the regular season, the Lady Pirates (17-8) nipped the Lady Tigers at home in December before losing a close one at Bradwell in January.
Bradwell (18-8) was the No. 2 seed coming into the the tournament and came into the week ranked No. 10 in the latest state poll by the Atlanta newspaper while the Lady Pirates were the third seed for the tournament. Both teams lost twice to Glynn in region play, but Bradwell had only three league losses while the Lady Pirates also lost to Richmond Hill to have four region defeats.
On Wednesday, BHS overcame an early 5-0 deficit to take a 14-10 lead into the second period. Brunswick would never trail again after gaining its first lead.
BHS scored the first seven points of the second stanza for a 21-10 advantage and led 27-18 at the halftime break. Bradwell managed only two field goals in the second quarter and didn’t score until the 4:23 mark of the period.
Bradwell got as close as six points early in the third, but Brunswick went back up by twin figures moments later and led by double-digits the rest of the way.
BHS led 44-28 going into the fourth quarter.
Senior forward Keya Daniels led Brunswick with 15 points while junior forward Makaila Brown followed closely with 14 points.
In defeat, Bradwell got a game-best 17 points from senior guard Jada Brooks.
Bradwell is now set to face Richmond Hill in Friday’s 3:30 p.m. third-place game that will be the first of four games on the day.
Glynn Academy 72, Richmond Hill 32
The Lady Terrors had beaten Richmond Hill handily in the the two region matchups during the regular season and Glynn took charge early on Wednesday as it ran away from the Lady Wildcats from the outset.
Glynn (21-4), which topped the league in the regular season by winning all eight of its region games, scored the game’s first 12 points and opened up a 20-5 lead in the opening period.
The Lady Terrors, ranked No. 5 this week in the state poll, never looked back. They led 34-20 at halftime and held a 51-24 lead going into the final quarter.
The Lady Terrors got a game-high 21 points from Talia Hamilton while senior standout Zoesha Smith finished with 16.
Nine different players scored in the win for Glynn. LaTrinity Best and Zuri Patrick both added 8 points for the Lady Terrors.
Kyra Finley scored 14 points for Richmond Hill to lead the team in the loss. The Lady Wildcats, the fourth seed, knocked off Effingham on Monday to get to the semifinal round. They will now take on Bradwell in the third-place game.
Glynn must now get past Brunswick a third time this season to repeat as the region champion. GA defeated BHS 48-40 at home in early January before clipping the Lady Pirates 40-36 at BHS on Jan. 24.
Glynn Academy 69, Brunswick 48
The Terrors played like they had nothing to lose but another basketball game, and the Pirates looked like the inexperienced squad that they were to start the season in this one.
That combination produced a lop-sided victory for the Terrors who steamrolled the Pirates 69-48 to advance to Friday night’s tile game.
“I’m just real proud of the guys,” said GA coach Terrance Haywood. “They’ve never quit on us and have given us everything they have every game. Now, that’s paying off.”
Glynn (9-18) is still trying to reach double-digits in the win column as it plays in the postseason where they are now 2-0 thus far. The Terrors, the No. 4 seed for the tournament, had to win Monday at home against Bradwell Institute to earn a spot in the semifinals and also secure a state-tournament berth.
Glynn was impressive in its region opener, too, as it used a strong defensive effort to turn back the Tigers 58-31.
Brunswick (17-8) was the top seed after losing only once to Richmond Hill in region action. That was a 60-48 home loss last Tuesday, which left the Pirates needing to win last Friday at Effingham, which they did, to secure the outright regular-season region title.
Wednesday’s game was close only early which might have been shocking, but the Glynn win really wasn’t all that surprising considering that the Terrors had the Pirates on the ropes just 12 days earlier on their home floor but couldn’t finish that game out to score the win.
GA led the Jan. 24 game at BHS by 52-35 early in the fourth quarter, but saw the Pirates come roaring back to eke out a 62-60 victory for the regular-season sweep in the rivalry series. The Pirates decked the Terrors 69-52 when they played at Glynn in early January.
It was clear early in this semifinal tilt that Glynn wasn’t going to roll over for the Pirates who were hoping to claim a fourth consecutive region crown. GA jumped out to a 16-6 lead at the end of the opening period, and with Max Hrdlicka leading the way, the Terrors stretched their lead to as much as 18 in the second stanza before taking a 39-16 advantage into the locker room at the half.
Hrdlicka led Glynn’s impressive opening half, scoring 21 of the team’s points. He was almost single-handily responsible for getting GA the big lead in the previous game at Brunswick as he poured 36 points for the game with 33 of those coming in the second half including 19 in the third quarter alone.
Any thoughts BHS had of another rousing comeback ended in the third period as the Terrors pulled further away, padding their advantage to as much as 31 points before taking a 56-33 lead into the final eight minutes.
Simply put, Glynn was clearly the superior team on the floor in this third game between the rivals.
“We knew we had an opportunity to win the last game and didn’t take care of business,” Haywood said. “For us to get up like that again tonight and hold it, I’m just really proud of the guys.
“We hit some shots to get up early, and I think the guys locked in defensively from there and took things personal on the defensive end. We weren’t gonna give up anything easy. They were gonna have to earn what they got.”
Hrdlicka didn’t score after halftime but his 21 points still led all scorers. The Terrors also got double-digit totals from the Dickens freshmen combo as Tray Dickens dumped in 16 while Quay Dickens added 12. D’Marion Hayes finished with 9 points for Glynn.
In defeat, Jaden Dunham scored 20 points to lead the Pirates while Xavier Bean finished with 10 and Tyrese Jones added 8.
Brunswick must regroup in time take on Effingham once again. A third win over the Rebels would keep the Pirates from falling all the way to the No. 4 seed for the state tournament.
Glynn will now get a third shot at Richmond Hill which toppled the Terrors 60-47 and 45-41 during the season.
“We can celebrate this tonight, but we have to move past it,” Haywood said of the semifinal rout of the Pirates. “We’re 32 minutes away now from winning a region championship. You have to play four quarters of solid basketball against Richmond Hill. They’re a good, good team. It’ll take this effort and then some to beat them.”
Richmond Hill 52, Effigham 47
Richmond Hill and Effingham split their regular-season games, making this third meeting the rubber match between the teams.
The Wildcats ( 22-4) looked like they might win this one comfortably as they started the third quarter on a 10-0 surge to open up a 43-29 lead.
But, Effingham (17-5) wouldn’t go away. The Rebels stayed within 45-35 after three quarters and chipped away at the Wildcats’ lead until totally wiping it out and tying the game at 47-47 with 2:06 to go in the game.
Neither side would score until the Wildcats finally broke the tie after the teams combined for several scoreless possessions with an open 3-point make by Liam Markgraf with 24 seconds left to put Richmond Hill back in front, 50-47.
The Rebels attempted a tying three-point shot on their next possession that was off the mark. Forced to foul, they sent Richmond Hill’s Sheldon Lewis to foul line and Lewis put the game away with two made free throws in the final seconds to make for the 52-47 victory.
Lewis led the Wildcats with 15 points while Markgraf followed with 14 as he buried four triples in the win.
Khiry Wallace led all scorers with 22 points for the Rebels while Keion Wallace followed with 15 in the loss.
Effingham will now face Brunswick for third place. BHS nipped the Rebels 51-50 when they played at Brunswick before the Pirates won 66-54 last Friday in Springfield.