May 27, 2018

Young Braves Score Thrilling Overtime Win at Holiday Tourney

(Locust Grove, GA) — Head coach Paul Fitz-Simons and the Braves varsity basketball team notched two big wins this week at the Locust Grove holiday tournament, including a 50-37 win over the hosting Wildcats on Tuesday afternoon and an exciting come-from-behind 59-56 overtime win over Social Circle Redskins on Wednesday.

The two wins were important for a myriad of reasons for the first year head coach and his young upstart squad as they head into a new calendar year.

Most importantly, a three game winning streak leaves the team riding a lot of momentum as they enter into the Region 5-AA schedule next week with a big home match-up versus rival Bowdon.

Wednesday’s hard-nosed overtime win over the Redskins was indicative of the effort the young guys have put forth during a season where most games have been close, low-scoring defensive struggles.

Dekari Brewer scored 15 in Wednesday's win including a game-tying buzzer beater to send the game to OT

Dekari Brewer scored 15 in Wednesday’s win including a game-tying buzzer beater to send the game to OT (Photo: Rodney Kay)

The key shot Wednesday afternoon came from Dekari Brewer. Brewer grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball back through the cylinder at the buzzer to tie the game at 52-52 and add extra minutes to a game the Braves trailed through most of the fourth quarter.

The Redskins had a chance to tie the game with under three seconds to go in the first overtime period before an errant pass landed in the hands of Brave Jaden Moreland, ending the game and giving the Braves a post-holiday winning record for the first time in several years (7-6, 0-0).

“Our win Wednesday was a grinder just like most of our games have been this season,” said Fitz-Simons after the game. “It is just the way we are — it’s our make-up this season. We just try to give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter against these teams with lots of juniors and seniors.”

Christian Murray was stellar for the Brave offense Wednesday with 24 points including 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Murray was 8-for-10 from the free throw line, sinking all five of his opportunities in the fourth quarter.

Brewer had a season high 15 in the game with six in the last quarter. Jordarius Foster and Darius Matthews finished with eight and seven respectively.

Fitz-Simons is pleased with the effort his guys have shown during the early stretch of the season.

“We are still making a lot of mistakes, but we are still super young — we are playing hard and that is what is most important.”

The coach knows the pressure will be ramped up dramatically as his young team of very few upper-classmen enters the tough Region 5-AA schedule next week.

“We just have to take care of the ball and keep playing good defense like we have been doing, and we have to keep playing one possession at a time. We are trying to take the momentum of these three wins and pole vault with it into the Bowdon game next week.”

One of the big positives Fitz-Simons has taken from the season so far is the effort he has gotten from the entire line-up.

 “It is just one of those things where our kids have a workman-like team attitude and it seems like a different guy steps up for us every game,” added the coach.

“Jordarius Foster has been so steady for us scoring the ball, Dekari Brewer has been playing some strong defense all year, Christian Murray has played well and had a big game today — it’s just an all-around good effort from everyone so far.”

The Braves will enjoy a short break before taking on the Red Devils Tuesday night at HHS. The game will start immediately after the girl’s game which tips at 6 PM.

Leading scorers in Tuesday’s 50-37 win over the Wildcats were Foster with 19, Matthews with 10, and Torrance Allen with six.

To see video of Dekari Brewer’s game tying buzzer-beater courtesy of Rodney Kay visit www.facebook.com/BraveNation.

 

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