During the opening games of the Gentlemen’s Classic Tournament on Monday in Statesboro, Statesboro High took a 64-54 win against the visiting Bradwell Tigers, and Liberty County remained undefeated, beating Metter 83-60.
Bradwell 54, Statesboro 64
BI Tiger basketball coach Pete Woodard said despite the loss, his team is playing hard and he is pleased with their efforts, but added, "The reason we lost was the opposing team had too many second and third attempts on one end of the court."
Woodard said his squad gives 100 percent for three quarters, but has not found a way to finish the game.
"Coaches teach, strategize and discipline players," he said. "Contrary to popular belief players win games by executing when they are supposed to, doing what they are supposed to and how they are supposed to do it. If the player doesn’t get the key rebound, if the player doesn’t make the key free throw, if the player doesn’t make the easy layup or the pass to the open man, that’s on the player."
Tiger Tykeem Brown had 10 points and hit two trey shots to tie the game at 27 in the second, but the Blue Devils pulled ahead to close the half up 35-29.
The coach said he is still confident his team will make a run against region opponents starting with Savannah High on Jan. 5.
In the meantime they were scheduled to play Northeast Macon yesterday and tonight they face Liberty County at 6:30 in Statesboro. Afterward they look to Long County on Jan. 2.
The Tigers are 1-7 overall and 0-2 as of Monday and the Statesboro Blue Devils were 11-2 going into yesterday’s game against Liberty County High School. Blue Devil Jaquawn Raymond set the pace, leading the home team with 25 points in their victory against Bradwell.
Liberty 83, Metter 60
Standouts Jordan McRae and Rion Brown popped in 29 points and 28 points, respectively, to keep the Panthers undefeated in Monday’s 83-60 win over the Metter Tigers. McRae had a double-double, getting in 12 rebounds, even though coach Willie Graham said the athlete was under the weather. Panther Greg Richardson chipped in 18 points, primarily from the three-point range, keeping the Metter Tigers beyond reach of a comeback.
The coach said the win was a good way to start the season again after Christmas break.
"It was good to be back," he said. "We only had two kids missing who were still on vacation from the holidays. We are almost at full strength."
Among the missing was Melvin King, who the coach said had his best game just before the holidays against Thomson.
"We pretty much picked up where we left off," Graham said. "We played well in spots. Our defense is still not as sharp as we would like it to be. Offensively, we were sharp and shot the ball well."
However, Graham said the team still has trouble at the line, which has plagued them this season. He said the Gentlemen’s Classic was a good way to get back
into the game as they prepare to host West Laurens on Jan. 8.
However, they first had to get by Statesboro High yesterday and Bradwell Institute tonight.
"We beat Metter pretty good last night, but hopefully Statesboro will gives us better competition and a different look," he said. "We are still quite a ways from hitting our peak."
Tonight’s tip-off against the BI Tigers is at 6:30.