MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Briarwood coach Clayton Parrish knew it was going to take a perfect game to stay close to three-time defending state champion Terrell in the semifinals of the GISA Class AA girls state tournament.
And while his team battled and played hard to the end, they could not overcome the constant pressure that the Lady Eagles put on them and ended up losing 56-27.
Terrell advances to the championship game with a record of 25-3, while the Lady Bucs’ season ends at 24-8.
“I thought coming in there were three great teams in AA and we would have to play a bit over our heads to compete,” Parrish said. “I think maybe we were intimidated coming in and did not play well in the first half, but I was very proud that we were able to get something going in the third quarter. Terrell is just a great team and we will not hang our heads for too long about this game.”
Briarwood was bothered by the constantly pressing Lady Eagles and trailed 29-11 at the half.
The Lady Buccaneers managed only 12 shots in the half while turning the ball over 21 times. Only three Briarwood players scored in the first half, with Rachel Coxwell and Tiffany Pate leading the way with five points apiece.
Briarwood played inspired basketball in the third quarter, and was outscored only 12-11 in the quarter.
Coxwell caught fire with eight consecutive points and the Lady Eagles cut the lead to 14, at 35-21 on Coxwell’s second 3-pointer of the quarter with 4:00 left in the period. But Terrell was too good down the stretch, and was able to outscore Briarwood 21-6 the rest of the way.
“It was a very physical game, said Pate, a sophomore, who ended the game with 10 points and 18 rebounds. “I don’t think we were used to playing against a team that was as aggressive as they were. I hate that its over for our seniors, but the rest of us need to get to work and do our best to get back here. It was a great atmosphere to play in and we will all want to get back.”
Terrell was led by Alex Barfield with 19 points, while Marilauren Farr added 12. Coxwell led Briarwood with 13.