Friday, February 20, 2015

My Weekend Schedule; and a game report from Greenbrier-Gainesville

Last week was "Championship Week."  Today started my weekend to focus on what I'll call "the best games in town."  I once used that description only for GRU games.  The Jags, currently riding a 9 game winning streak, still deserve the distinction.   And as I look at my near term schedule, I see four other local teams (Laney, Paine College, Laney's girls, and Greenbrier's girls) who have earned that special status as well.  First, I'll share my schedule, then I'll share with you the results of my weekend's first game.

My AugBball weekend schedule:

GRU's homecoming game Saturday (noon) is one of five
games I'll try to see, and report on this weekend.
Friday:  Greenbrier lost a heart breaker to Gainesville on a buzzer beater in the sweet sixteen round of the playoffs.  See the full report of this game directly below this schedule.

Saturday (noon):  GRU, winners of nine straight and Peach Belt East Division co-leaders, host Lander in a nationally televised homecoming game.  Here is a link to highlights of the Jags' 101-75 rout of Francis Marion Wednesday.

Saturday (3 PM):  Paine College, who recently improved to 20-5 and clinched the regular season SIAC title, faces rival Benedict College.

Saturday (5 PM and 6:30 PM):  Laney's girls and boys will host sweet sixteen playoff action to wrap up a great weekend of Augusta Basketball!

Game Report:  Gainesville 47, Greenbrier 45 (sweet sixteen round of the state playoffs)

Highly competitive basketball teaches lessons to all involved.  The learning opportunity Friday was to see, in a game, how sometimes life doesn't always seem fair.  After Greenbrier sprinted out to an early 11-2 lead, senior Morgan Taylor and three other starters were hampered by foul trouble throughout the game.  Playing for the final ten minutes of the first half with one starter (senior Jennifer McMahan) on the floor, Greenbrier struggled to stay even.  And after an early second half Gainesville run, the Lady Wolfpack trailed 34-26 and had lost its first player (Destiny Marshall) to a fifth foul.  Ever the leader and competitor, Taylor kept her poise and led a furious Lady Wolfpack comeback to erase the deficit.  And after McMahan put in two late jump shots, Greenbrier led 45-41.

After Gainesville battled back to even with fewer than 30 seconds remaining, Taylor made a nifty crossover dribble, slashed into the paint and floated in a sweet bank shot for what appeared to be the game winner.  But the official call was a charge on Taylor, the fifth foul for the Naval Academy bound senior.  A review of the play in the accompanying video will probably leave the impression that the correct call would have been a block or no call at all.

But a time like this is when the game teaches us we are not measured by our results, but by the effort we give, and by the way we respond to the breaks we get.  Lucky or unlucky.  My prediction is Taylor and her teammates will respond like true champs.

If any Gainesville fans read this, I hope I am forgiven for dwelling on an unfortunate end to a highly respected area team's season.  I hope not to leave the impression that the victory was not earned.  The winners played very impressively, and I tried to tell an unbiased story in the video report above.  It is much easier for me to talk about our home team here.  Good luck to the Gainesville girls in the elite eight round of the playoffs.

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