Look for the Glynn Academy girls to get off to a quick start today when it opens its Region 2-6A schedule against Effingham County.
The Red Terrors (5-1) can re-establish a winning streak and keep their early-season success rolling when they tip off against the Rebels (2-5) at 5:30 p.m.
Glynn Academy’s girls suffered their first loss of the season last Saturday when it narrowly fell 60-59 against undefeated Beach. The Bulldogs led by six with around two minutes remaining, but the Red Terrors battled back, taking the lead on Zoesha Smith’s bucket with under a minute to play, and again on a basket by Keiana Milton after Beach had recaptured the lead.
Ultimately a pair of late free throws sank Glynn.
Unwilling to allow the loss to linger, the Glynn girls bounced back quickly to trounce winless Liberty County 53-25, holding the Panthers to just two points in the fourth quarter.
“I just think it was all mental, our mental preparation,” girls head coach Sharnesha Smith said of her team’s ability to rebound from the defeat. “We had to shake that obviously. Beach is a really good team and it went down to the wire, so of course it was like a punch to our gut after losing that, but with our coaching staff and the kids just being resilient and being able to regroup and refocus. It’s a long season ahead.”
Junior Zoesha Smith nearly matched Liberty County by herself in the game, scoring 23 points as she ran her season averages just shy of 20 points and 12 rebounds per game.
La’trinty Best has also gotten off to a solid start to the season, averaging 12.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals to begin her junior campaign.
Glynn Academy could put Effingham away early if season trends hold. The Rebels have struggled to begin games, entering tonight’s contest averaging just 6.8 first-quarter points this season. By comparison, the Terrors have scored 14.7 points per game in the opening period.
“That’s our focus every game, for us to get out and throw the first punch,” Smith said. “I always tell them our motto is, ‘Make them call the first timeout.’ If I have to call the first timeout, then that means we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do.”
The Glynn Academy boys will look to follow the blueprint set by the girls earlier this week as they attempt to recover from their first loss of the season Tuesday against Liberty County.
The Red Terrors had won three straight to open their season before dropping a game in Hinesville 72-62.
A 10-2 run to begin the fourth quarter actually had Glynn up by seven with around five minutes to play, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Liberty helped close the gap en route to taking the lead. The Red Terrors only trailed by three with a minute left, but couldn’t make up deficit as Panthers hit five free throws down the stretch.
“We just went back after that loss and watched a lot of film,” said boys head coach Terrance Haywood. “Just kind of coming out this game right here trying to correct our errors and mistakes we saw that we made.”
Haywood felt his team didn’t do its best job getting back on defense in transition against a very quick, athletic Liberty County squad.
Now, Glynn (3-1) has a chance to right the ship immediately against a winless Effingham County (0-7) that’s lost its games by an average margin of nearly 21 points.
Tipoff for the boys game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Although the Red Terrors appear to be the favorites, don’t expect them to overlook the Rebels after being upset in the first round of the Region 2-6A tournament nine months ago.
“This is the same Effingham team that came in last year and beat us in the first round of the region tournament, and they beat us on our floor, so they’ll probably still be coming in with some confidence…” Haywood said.
“We’re not taking anything for granted. That’s why you play the game.”