When Malia Kency arrived at Briarwood, her new teammates were in for a surprise.
Though Kency, who transferred from Grovetown before her junior year, was a dynamic scorer, she also delivered quick passes. Sometimes they were unexpected, no-look dishes or how-did-she-do-that flicks.
Briarwood girls basketball wasn’t used to this, but Kency and post player Tiffany Pate did dominate as the Lady Bucs reached the GISA Class AA second round.
Briarwood was even better this season. Kency continued to do it all, and the Lady Bucs improved as they went 30-3 and finished as runner-up in the state tournament.
By finishing her successful career with a senior season that saw her reach the 2,000-point mark, Kency is The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Independent Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“She is the best ball-handler that I have seen at the high school level,” Lady Bucs coach Keith Johnson said. “I enjoyed coaching her for the last two years and she will be missed. I’m very proud of all of her accomplishments both on and off the court.”
Kency, who will play college ball at Florida Atlantic, was often unstoppable. In a four-point loss to Westwood in the state championship game, the guard scored 33 of Briarwood’s 46 points.
Throughout her career, Kency drilled 3-pointers and drove into the lane for layups. Defenses knew the ball was going to be in her hands, but she still tallied 20-point games and wins.
But the next level presents a new challenge, when Kency will be playing Division I basketball in Conference USA. Kency hopes her time at Briarwood prepared her for college’s larger workload.
“I have been able to display great leadership skills while helping my teammates develop,” Kency said. “I have gained a lot of experience from attending Briarwood. I think the academic challenge and continuing to play at a high level will have a significant impact.”