THOMASVILLE — Opening night for Brookwood basketball couldn’t have gone better for the boys and girls varsity squads. The Warriors welcomed in Byne Christian for the first game of the season.
The girls kicked it off at 6:00 p.m. for head coach Jerry Ridley’s first game as head coach of the Brookwood Lady Warriors. It’s hard to ask for a better start to the season as the Lady Warriors dominated the Saints from start to finish. The half court defense was stifling and the offense was clean and crisp. It felt as though the Saints couldn’t push the ball past the three point line and when they did get into the paint they were immediately swarmed by white jerseys.
The Lady Warriors recorded three steals within the first two and a half minutes of the game and almost every Saints turnover throughout the game resulted in a fast break opportunity for Brookwood. The hustle was evident and the Lady Warriors forced multiple tie ups. Byne didn’t score until 2:19 left in the first quarter and at the end of the first the Lady Warriors led 17-2.
The second quarter was no kinder to the Saints as the Brookwood defense was quick and completely disruptive. The Lady Warriors stellar defense resulted in plenty of easy baskets and even when the Saints could get back on defense, 6’0 senior Maddie Duncan was carving them up in the paint.
The Lady Warriors defense lasted all night as the Saints were only able to put up nine points in the game and Brookwood took the 67-9 win.
The boys team followed that performance with an impressive one of their own. Despite missing one of their best players in Levi Williams, starting three freshmen and playing a pair of eighth graders, the Warriors looked good to start.
“The crazy thing is those freshman actually probably have more varsity experience than a lot of other guys on the roster just because a lot of them played as eighth graders last year,” said Brookwood boys head coach Nate VanDuyne. “Those eighth graders, those were two that they’ve been playing really well in practice, but you’re just really nervous all of the sudden them going out and competing in a game against upper school students. Those guys, the guys that had never done it before, I thought they did a pretty good job.”
The Brookwood defense was very tough and they were finding open shots, though they struggled to hit them early. Meanwhile, Byne’s offense was powered by big man Jaylen Seymore. Seymore was essentially Byne’s offense, showing off his speed and power when driving to the basket, but also showing his willingness to take an open three. By the end of the first quarter the fairly evenly matched contest was tied at nine.
That wouldn’t last long, however. Brookwood continued to find open threes, using their excellent ball movement, and in the second quarter they began to fall. The Warriors hit two from three point land in the first two and half minutes of the second quarter.
“It shows their ability to persevere and be consistent,” VanDuyne said. “It’s exciting to think about what could be if we’re able to get healthy and continue to improve and piece everything together. I am excited to see just a lot of guys contribute last night.”
Disaster struck for the Saints as starting senior Corey Green went down with an apparent knee injury and, soon after, Seymore limped to the locker room with what looked to be a right leg injury. With Byne down two starters and already at a points deficit, the Warriors began to run away with the game.
They broke open the scoring in the third and heading into the final frame, Brookwood had a commanding 54-24 lead.
The fourth quarter saw Brookwood refuse to slow down as they continued to get solid penetration and knock down their shots. The increased success on the boards was also apparent. On the defensive side, Brookwood force Byne to take tough shots resulting in the Saints securing just six points in the quarter. When the horn sounded, the Warriors had won 66-30.
The Warriors will host the Highland Christian Academy Eagles for their third game of the season on Thursday. The girls will start things off at 6:30 p.m.