October 20, 2020

Braves score first state playoff win since 2002

(Franklin, GA) — The Braves scored a state playoff victory for the first time since 2002 Friday night, defeating the Dade County Wolverines 69-44 in Franklin.

Coach Keith Simmons’s squad used a big 25-8 third quarter to expand a 32-25 halftime lead and advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2002.

It was a 79-68 win over Social Circle in Class A that earned the trip in 2002 and that team would go no further, falling by 10 points to Providence Christian.

This team has aspirations to go further than that after earning the first region boys championship in 57 years.

They will be put to the test again this Thursday when they host either Fitzgerald (No. 3 seed Region 1-AA) or Dublin (No. 2 seed, Region 3-AA) in round two. Those two squads meet tonight in Dublin.

The Braves were led by three players who each scored in double figures Friday night. Senior Jordarius Foster scored 20 to lead all scorers including nine in the third quarter. Sophomore Alijah Huzzie tallied 18 including five from long range.

The Braves can be deadly versus any team when Huzzie gets hot from the outside as he was Friday night. A resurgent Emory Jones looks to have his basketball legs back and scored 17.

The consistently solid play inside from Jordarius Foster continues to be a prime weapon for the Braves.

“We had a great effort through some early adversity tonight. We weren’t able to make some of our early free throws which kept the game close. When you play groups from different regions it changes the dynamic of what you do so you have to adapt — which has been our forte this season,” said Simmons after the game.

“We felt like we were deeper tonight, and we felt like with their point guard injured that might be an advantage for us.”

The Wolverines were without junior point guard Gage Henry due to an injury. Simmons’s thinks that the versatility of Emory Jones and the shooting of Alijah Huzzie could be key as the team moves forward in the state playoffs.

“Emory is so versatile. I think he played some at four different positions tonight and that makes it easier for us to do some things,” said Simmons. “Alijah Huzzie shot the cover off the ball tonight. Overall a few things we need to clean up but I am very happy with the outcome tonight.”

One of the largest crowds in Brave basketball history was on hand for the first round Friday night and another huge crowd is expected next week for the Sweet 16 match-up.

The Braves will host either Fitzgerald or Dublin Thursday night in Franklin. Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further info on the game time and opponent as it becomes available. Tickets for the Sweet 16 single games will be $7.00.

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