Glynn Academy continues to build its case as the best girls basketball team in the state early in the 2019-20 season, hitting the road Tuesday to notch its third victory over a top-10 program with a 49-35 win over Statesboro.
The Terrors (6-0) entered the week No. 3 in the Sandy Spiel’s Class 6A rankings, with triumphs against Class 5A’s No. 1 and No. 3 teams in Johnson and Beach, respectively, already under their belt before adding Class 5A’s fifth-ranked Statesboro (4-2) to the list.
“Our schedule was intentional,” said Glynn Academy head coach Sharnesha Smith. “We wanted to play a lot of teams that were very good, teams that would give us a challenge, teams that would get us to lift harder and just expose who we are, and see where we are, and hopefully keep getting better.
“We wanted that tough schedule, and it’s not going to get any easier.”
Although the Blue Devils scored the first points of the game, it was the Red Terrors who got out to the quick start, taking a nine-point lead on an 11-2 run to end the opening quarter.
The lead ballooned to 17 before Lacy Robinson scored 11 straight points to pull Statesboro back from the brink. She’d finish with a team-high 16 points.
But right on cue, Glynn’s own standout, University of Georgia commit Zoesha Smith, accepted the challenge, scoring her team’s final eight points of the half to keep the Terrors’ lead in double digits at halftime 33-23.
Smith added 10 of the team’s 16 points after the break to give her a season-high 27 on the night. Talia Hamilton knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored 13 points, while Frances Marion commit La’Trinty Best chipped in six points.
“It was a great game plan that we ran together, and the girls just came out and executed it,” Sharnesha Smith said after the win.
In what’s become a growing trend under, Glynn Academy locked in defensively to hold Statesboro to 12 points in the second half, including just three points in the fourth quarter.
The Terrors are holding opponents to 26.3 points per game over the span of its six-game win streak to start the season.
“The girls are playing a major role in that,” Sharnesha Smith said of the defense. “Their ability to just execute the game plan defensively has been amazing. Making adjustments at halftime, and just listening to what the coaches, myself and our coaching staff, listening to what we say every possession down the floor, and then they’re locked in too.
“We always talk about being engaged. Are you engaged for that one possession? Nothing else matters, it’s just that possession and you’ve got to get a stop. So, you get stops, then you go down and capitalize on it.”
Glynn carries its momentum into its Region 2-6A opener against Effingham County on the road Friday.
BKW: Gisladottier leads Mariners to upset of No. 13 Tornadoes
A hot-shooting night by Solrun Gisladottir and a tenacious team defensive effort lifted Coastal Georgia to a shocking 82-73 upset of NAIA Division I’s 13th-ranked Talladega College on Monday at Howard Coffin Gymnasium.
The NAIA DII Mariners shot 27-of-52 (.519) from the field, including 7-of-14 (.500) from beyond the arc — Gisladottir canning each of the 3-point makes on nine attempts, tying for the fifth-most in a single game in program history.
Talladega College beat Coastal Georgia 88-51 in the first meeting between the programs on Nov. 2 in Talladega, Ala., but the Tornadoes struggled from the field in the rematch, shooting just 32.5 percent overall and 25 percent from 3.
However, the real key to the turnaround was the Mariners’ improvement in taking care of the ball. Coastal turned the ball over 36 times in the first game against Talladega, leading to 40 points the other way.
On Monday, the Mariners gave the ball up 20 times, cutting the points allowed off turnovers to just 17.
In part due to the turnovers, Coastal Georgia was held to just 16 second-half points in its last matchup against Talladega; it more than doubled that output in its victory.
The Mariners carried a three-point advantage into the fourth quarter before a quick 6-0 run gave the Tornadoes their first lead since there was 7:02 remaining in the first half.
With 6:25 to play, Gisladottier drained the first of three 3-pointers in the final period to break a 63-63 tie. She hit her second to break another tie with just under four minutes to play, and her final came just a few moments later to give the Mariners a six-point lead they’d never relinquish.
Gisladottier finished with a season-high 25 points, and it was the fourth time in her career she’d hit seven 3-pointers. The senior already holds the program’s single-game record with nine 3-pointers in a contest against Keiser last season.
Lynsey Washington recorded 16 points and seven rebounds for the Mariners, and Quira Porter added 16 points of her own, along with four rebounds. Romny Felts led Coastal with nine rebounds while tying teammate Ariel Crump with a game-high four assists.
Next up, Coastal Georgia hits the road for a contest against Sun Conference foe Johnson & Wales at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Miami.