December 2, 2020

Upstart Braves primed for Carroll Christmas Tourney

(Franklin, GA) — The Brave varsity basketball team bounced back from a weekend setback to Handley and knocked off an athletic Troup Tiger squad 56-52 Tuesday night at home.

The upstart 6-2 squad will now test their mettle at the Carroll County Christmas Tournament against former Region 5-AA rival Bowdon. The game tips at 4:30 PM this afternoon at Villa Rica High School and the team will also play games tomorrow and Saturday.

Dekari Brewer (#1) and Tay Watson (#35) battle during Tuesday's 56-52 win over the Tigers

Dekari Brewer (#1) and Tay Watson (#35) battle during Tuesday’s 56-52 win over the Tigers

Tuesday night’s win over Troup came after a hard battle where neither team had a lead greater than five points after the first quarter.

The Tigers held the largest lead of the game at 15-8 in the first quarter before the Braves settled down.

Sophomore Alijah Huzzie had a big game for the Braves leading the scoring with 15 points including three 3-point baskets.

Huzzie was also a key late going 4-for-5 in free throw attempts.

Jordarius Foster (11 points), Dekari Brewer (10 points) and Emory Jones (7 points) also had nice shooting efforts.

Several Braves including Tay Watson, Christian Murray, Jones, and Foster banged the boards late in the game securing crucial rebounds in the close back-and-forth contest.

Coach Keith Simmons thinks these close non-region battles will be important for his team as they move closer to Region 5-AA play in January.

“Huzzie and Darius seemed to be off in the beginning but they hit some big timely shots down the stretch,” said Simmons after Tuesday;s win. “Emory Jones and Tray Dunson really came in and turned it around with their defense — they just decided those guards weren’t scoring anymore.”

Simmons is a strong believer that defense and rebounding are what wins basketball games and were the biggest key to the nice win over the Tigers.

“In the second half I think we started to box out more and get some rebounds. When Tay decides to box out he can get at least 10 if not 20 rebounds a game. Having him and Joe Foster and Christian and Emory with our good rebounding guards — it’s a mindset change of defense first and if we do the defense and get the ball it’s just a lot easier for us on offense as well,” added the first year Brave head coach.

The neutral site match-up with rival Bowdon (4-4) today should be another good test for the Braves. The teams split two games last season with each winning at home.

The winner of today’s game will face the winner between Starr’s Mill and Villa Rica Friday night in Villa Rica at 8:30 PM. The loser will take on the loser of the same game at 5:30 PM Friday in Villa Rica.

Saturday’s tournament games will move to Temple High School with the tourney championship taking place at 8:30 PM. Teams on the other side of the bracket include Mt. Zion, Temple, Central, and Oak Mountain Academy.

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