Terrors’ bench stays prepared for action

Effingham County’s girls basketball team will roll into the Glass Palace on Friday for a 6 p.m. tipoff with just one win under their belt this season, but don’t tell that to No. 3 Glynn Academy.

The Terrors (14-4, 4-0) have transformed into one of the top programs in the state over the last few years because of the consistency of their preparation, and being that it’s a Region 2-6A contest, they’re not overlooking the Rebels (1-13, 0-4) either.

“It’s a region game for us, and any region game is what matters the most, just like any opponent, we prepare the same way” said Glynn Academy girls head coach Sharnesha Smith. “So we’ve got a great game plan for Effingham too. For us, it’s a matter of just continuing to do what we do, and hope that we can just stay sharp.

“Our sharpness is what is important to me, and that we can execute the game plan. Nothing changes.”

Glynn has only lost one region game in the past two years — last season’s City Championship game against Brunswick High — and it went a perfect 4-0 in the first pass through the region this season, an eight-point win over the Pirates the lone contest within 13 points.

In its first meeting with Effingham, Glynn Academy led 27-0 at the end of the first quarter, and its advantage grew to 66-9 by the end of the third until the reserves closed out the game.

With the Terrors outscoring teams by an average margin of 18.6 points per game this season, the reserves have seen a lot of court time as, outside of their starting five of seniors, eight different players have appeared in at least five games, five of which are underclassmen.

Smith credits the high- intensity practices the team runs in preparing all 13 players to be ready to go whenever their number is called.

“We have a high-energy, high-accountability type of practice,” she said. “So we prepare and we practice just like it was a game. Everything we do is at full speed, game speed. We try to train our bodies and our minds to just compete at that level all the time.

“Being able to do that at practice everyday, I think that helps.”

Zoesha Smith had 28 points and 13 rebounds in the last meeting against Effingham, while Talia Hamilton and La’Trinty Best each scored 14. A similar output from the Terrors’ Big 3 will surely spell cleanup time for a team holding opponents to 35 points per game, and more minutes for the reserves.

Glynn Academy could also choose to mix and match its less experienced players in with the starters, giving players like freshman big Shamya Flanders some run early in the contest.

“She’s been having an amazing year for us, and she’s had an unbelievable practice for the last two weeks, so I’m excited to see what she does when she gets out there,” Smith said. “Akirria Mountain, of course, one our guards, backup point guard, shooting guard, I want to see how she plays, and of course you have Alindria Dudley as well.

“Paris Smith, Lilly Wood, pretty much everybody, Ashanti Riley, we have some kids on the bench that can play. I think they’ve been doing an amazing job, so I’m excited to see them get after it and get out there.”

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