Warriors defeat Panthers in region tilt

Clint Thompson
Brookwood boys’ strong start to the season continued Friday night against GIAA Region 3-AAA rival Tiftarea.

Strengthened by 20 points from freshman point guard Levi Williams, including 4-for-4 free throws in the fourth quarter, the Warriors held off the Panthers 61-53. Brookwood improved to 13-2, which followed a thrilling 56-55 win over Thomasville the night before.

Brookwood head coach Nate VanDuyne was pleased the team won its third straight but admits it wasn’t the best performance the Warriors have displayed this year.

“This was a struggle for us. This is a good learning lesson for us. We had a heavily emotional game (Thursday) night. That was my biggest fear, turning that page and being ready to go against an opponent that we may not look at as good as what we just played,” VanDuyne said. “That’s really hard for kids. We’ve tried to guard against that. I don’t know if it was (complacency) but just the emotional toll because it was; it was an emotionally exhausting game (Thursday). We just flat-out didn’t play well. We didn’t guard. We didn’t execute most importantly; we were in wrong spots all over the place.

“I’m glad we got the win, because we’d be pretty disappointed if we didn’t.”

The Warriors’ young lineup flashed moments of greatness throughout the night. Freshman Jordyn Jean connected on five 3-point attempts and finished with 16 points. Walker Jackson, a 6-foot-8 junior, scored 17 points and swatted away multiple shot attempts inside the lane.

“It’s fantastic when he plays like he’s 6-8. I think the challenge as a coach is to get him to play that way all the time,” VanDuyne said. “He’s a junior and hasn’t played a ton of meaningful minutes, but he’s getting there.”

Freshman Roscoe Jones added seven points. Brookwood returns to the hardwood on Tuesday with another region game at Terrell Academy.
Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.