May 18, 2021

Braves down Devils for first region win

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County Braves picked up an important Region 5-AA win over Bremen Friday night in Franklin.

After trailing 24-19 at the half, the Braves battled back to take a 31-30 lead after three quarters before allowing just three fourth quarter points to the Devils to walk away with a 39-33 victory.

Sophomore Isaiah O’Neal led the scoring for the Braves with a career-high 16 including going 4-for-4 from the foul line with under two minutes to play to seal it.

Sophomore Isaiah O’Neal scored a career-high 16 in Friday night’s win

Ayden Cannon had another strong night with 15 points and Chance Curbow added four.

O’Neal was 8-for-10 from the free throw line on the night and also tallied six rebounds, seven assists, and a block.

Khalil Cofield led the Brave rebounding with seven while Cannon and Ty Smith each had six.

The win improves the Braves Region 5-AA record to 1-2 heading into another Region 5-AA road match-up at Jordan tonight.

“It looks like these guys have taken the early beatings and losses well and just continued to work and believe that when we start playing teams in our region and other AA schools we are more than good enough to compete,” said Smith after Friday night’s win.

“We are starting to put it together and hopefully we can get another one at Jordan. If we come out with some defensive intensity it should be another game we can compete well in.”

The Braves had some new faces on the bench Friday night with junior varsity players Gavin Moncus, Eli Lawson, and Will Alford being added to the roster.

In the first varsity game Friday night, the Lady Braves battled back from a 10-point halftime deficit before dropping a close battle 56-53 to the Lady Blue Devils.

The Lady Braves trailed 29-19 at the break but stormed out of the locker room on a 11-1 run to take the lead. The game was tied at 37 after three quarters and remained tied at 53-53 with about two minutes to play before the Devils pulled away.

Junior guard Sophia Long was called for an offensive charge to foul out of the game with just over a minute to go in the game.

The achilles heel for the Lady Braves was the foul line as they converted just five of 19 from the line. Junior Hermonie Garza continued her stellar play scoring a career-high 22 points to lead the Lady Braves in scoring.

Rounding out the leading scorers were Zekylah Boyd with nine, Jasmine Owens with seven, Morgan Kay with six, Sophia Long with five, and Tori Caldwell with four. Long also led the team with five assists in the game.

“I’m super proud of our effort tonight with coming back after being down 10 at the half. We got into foul trouble early, but I though our people that came in did a good job and that didn’t hurt us too much, said Coach Helen Akins after the game.

“Anytime you go 5-for-19 from the foul line in a tight game that’s not real good and we let them get to many offensive rebounds but we will go back to work on that and get better. Hermonie Garza played amazing tonight so I am super proud of her.”

The teams are back in Region 5-AA action tonight when they travel to Columbus to take on Jordan. After a few days off, they will return to the home court Friday night to host Lamar County.

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