Warriors open GIAA tourney

Clint Thompson - TTE
A 16-game winning streak has the Brookwood Warriors sitting in the quarterfinal round of the GIAA basketball tournament. The Warriors can advance to the state final four with a win over Frederica Academy on Saturday.

Brookwood hasn’t lost a game since the calendar turned to 2024. It finished 10-0 in Region 3 and should be a title contender when their playoffs tip off at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“I think during that time, even though we were winning, we weren’t necessarily playing our best,” Brookwood coach Nate VanDuyne said. “We’ve kind of had ebbs and flows of playing really well and then playing inefficiently at times. But you know we’re figuring some things out. We’re playing a lot of different ways, and I think that’s the thing I’m most encouraged about. We’ve won high tempo games where we’ve scored in the 70s and 80s. Recently, we’ve won a couple in the 30s and 40s.

“I think any time you can play and win multiple ways, it’s fantastic. I think it can go even further where defensively, we can play zone and we can play man. We’ve done both effectively. I really like that about our team. I think we’re really good when we’re running and in transition.”

One aspect Brookwood will need improvement is in the half court. VanDuyne said his half-court offense has been inefficient at times. It will need to be better if Frederica forces a half-court game, though it tallied 76 points in a blowout win over Tiftarea Academy in the first round.

Another concern is the current time off for Brookwood. It last played on Feb. 15, meaning nine days will have passed in between games; the longest stretch of the season. “As excited as you are to have the bye because you’re automatically in the next round, there’s a part of me that was like, ‘Man, if we dropped to the fifth seed, that wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.’ You’re playing, so you’re going to be more in a rhythm than that team that did get the bye and is waiting for so long. That’s a concern,” he added.

Frederica Academy is the No. 5 seed and has amassed an 18-5 record this year.
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.