September 22, 2018

Braves sweep OLM Bobcats on the road

(Fairburn, GA) — Both the Braves and Lady Braves varsity basketball teams returned to the hard court Tuesday night following the holiday week and both scored hard-fought wins over a Class A private school in Our Lady of Mercy from Fayette County.

The Braves moved to 2-1 on the season under first year coach Keith Simmons after 49-42 win that was a close battle throughout. In fact, the Braves margin of victory equaled the biggest lead of the game by either squad.

Senior Jordarius Foster goes up for a rebound in Tuesday night's win at OLM

Senior Jordarius Foster goes up for a rebound in Tuesday night’s win at OLM

The Braves led by just a single point at halftime and after the third quarter in a game defined by solid defense from both teams.

Senior Jordarius Foster led the scoring for the Braves with 13 points followed by sophomore Tay Watson and junior Darius Matthews who each scored nine points.

Coach Simmons was very pleased to get the quality win over a team that only lost six games last season.

“This was a real good win for us tonight. When you get these away games early in the season on a Tuesday night it kind of shows where your heart is and it’s the environment I wanted,” said Simmons after the game.

“This is the environment you are looking for if going to state is your goal — these are the games you are going to have to win — you have to be able go into someone else’s house in a raucous environment and you have to play through everything that happens.”

Sophomore Alijah Huzzie returned from his football injury and logged a lot of playing time in the game and Simmons is already seeing a lot of improvement in his squad since the season began.

“I see a big difference between how we played at the beginning of the season in our scrimmage until now — it is two totally different teams,”  Simmons said. “A couple of times we could have lost our composure, but we settled down and kept our lead. Jordarius Foster played awesome tonight.”

Simmons reminded his team after the game that some of the most important parts of winning basketball may not even show up in the game stats.

“I told our kids tonight that some things just don’t show up in the scorebook like Torrence Allen keeping it together for us when we got into early foul trouble. Torrence gave us some quality minutes off the bench tonight — those kinds of things can change a game.”

The boys avenged a 81-60 home loss to the Bobcats from early last season.

In girls’ action, the Lady Braves moved to 4-2 on the young season after upsetting the 3-0 Lady Bobcats who entered the game as the No. 5 team in the state in Class A privates fueled by junior D-1 prospect Morgan Jones.

The Lady Braves battled all night to try and contain the athletic Jones who scored 24 to lead all scorers, but it was the Lady Braves who walked off the court with a 50-44 win.

Kimberly Harris led the way for Coach Akins in scoring with 18 points. Harris has scored exactly 18 in the last three wins by the Lady Braves.

Despite Harris’s solid effort in the post, it was sophomore Haley Bennett who came off the bench with a huge effort late to pace the win. Bennett scored 14 for the game including 11 in the fourth quarter.

Bennett drained to 3-point baskets in that fourth quarter and junior point guard Sage Kelley added another.

Kelley was also huge late with six fourth quarter points. Bennett and Kelley were 6-for-9 from the free throw line in the closing minutes to seal the nice road win.

“I thought tonight we did a better job of moving the ball in our offense and attacking when we needed to. We kept our composure and our cool when we got behind and I thought that was big — I was very proud of these girls tonight.”

The Lady Braves led by three at the half but had to fight back from a five point deficit at the start of the final quarter.

The Braves and Lady Braves will next travel to Central on Saturday to take on the Lions.

All four HHS teams will take on the Lions beginning with the JV girls at 10:30 AM followed by the JV boys at noon, varsity girls at 1:30 and varsity boys at 3:00 PM. The JV girls also travel to Skipstone Academy for a single game Friday at 4:30 PM.

The varsity teams return home next Tuesday night to host Randolph County.

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