NGA girls drop close game at Briarwood

Nathanael Greene Academy eighth-grader Tate McCord picks up a loose ball and drives into the paint to lay up an easy shot against Briarwood Academy.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Nathanael Greene Academy’s girls basketball team lost a heartbreaker last Friday at Briarwood, falling 37-31.

The Lady Patriots kept things close throughout but after several missed shots in the fourth quarter and a few turnovers, the Lady Bucs pulled away. Lady Patriots head coach Derrick Williams said the game might have gone the other way if not for those crucial miscues.

“I think we played a pretty good game first three quarters,” Williams said. “There were a couple things that could've gone our way that didn't. Toward the end of the game, I think we panicked a little bit and we forced it. We lost but I think we played a pretty good game.”

The contest went back-and-forth throughout. Unfortunately for NGA, it was never able to swing control. Although Briarwood did not build much of an advantage, it still led at the conclusion of each quarter.

The Lady Patriots had several chances to score in the final period. Unfortunately for them, they could not come through.

Williams said he thought there were a few reasons for that, including the fact the Lady Patriots might have psyched themselves out a bit.

“I do think that and I think a couple foul calls here and there kind of changed the course of what was going on,” Williams said. “And a couple calls that were called against us, I don't necessarily think it was called the other way. But, I tell them when you play on the road, you deal with what you get and you just play basketball.”

As of Friday night, NGA had won five of its last seven games.

Williams said the reason for those wins was his players’ ability to hone in on a couple of key areas.

“I thought toward that last two or three minutes we had opportunities where players were wide open and we tried to attack one on two or one on three,” Williams said regarding the game at Briarwood. “I think, as we keep playing, we'll get those. In the five games we won, we were doing those things.”

Senior Brandi Bashore led the team with 10 points, including two 3-pointers in the first half. Seniors Megan Hunt and Carson Maloof scored 8 and 7 points, respectively.

The Lady Patriots were again without the services of senior Anna Lyn Mobley. Mobley has missed the last several games with an ankle injury. Williams said last Friday that Mobley learned she might have torn ligaments. Physical therapy is required and that could keep her on the shelf until early February.

“Potentially, you're looking at my starting center, a senior leader, captain, could potentially be out for the season,” Williams said.

Sosie Randall, an eighth-grader, missed the game with an illness, too, making NGA even more shorthanded.

NGA lost at Westminster Christian Academy (67-45) last Saturday and played at David Emanuel Academy this past Tuesday. The Lady Patriots will not return home until Jan. 16 when they host Eagle’s Landing Christian School.

They are headed toward the meat of their region schedule. Williams said he thinks the team is equipped heading into the most critical stretch of the season.

“About a month and a half ago, we were 0-4 and everybody was in panic mode,” he said. “The next thing you know, we reel off four-straight wins and then we lost one but then we won. We've won five out of our last seven games. So, if you look at the record, you're like, 'Man, this team's lost a lot,' but I feel like we're peaking right now. ... I think we're well-prepared for our region.”

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