The Warriors overcame travel frustrations and some large deficits Thursday and Friday, but came back both nights to defeat Southland Academy and Tiftarea Academy to win the GISA AAA-3 Region Tournament.
Despite being the 1-seed for the weekend the Warriors had to travel nearly two hours to Americus as Georgia Southwestern State hosted the tournament. Facing the hometown Southland Raiders, falling behind by 14 in the 2nd Quarter was not the start the Warriors wanted.
The 8-1 Brookwood stretch late in the 2nd Quarter, capitalized by a Sam Barrett 3 right before the buzzer, pulled the Warriors to within single digits at 20-27. Brookwood settled in offensively after halftime and took a 48-41 lead midway through the 4th Quarter. The Raiders took advantage of Brookwood’s foul trouble and were able to drive it the rim late, resulting in a three-point play by Southland's Max Foster to force overtime at 50-50.
Jack Boltja responded with a floater in the lane to tie it at 52 on the second possession of the overtime period. After another Raider basket, Boltja struck again with the go-ahead three-pointer to give Brookwood a 55-54 advantage with less than 2 minutes to play. JP Chapman sank both free throws to put the Warriors ahead 57-54 with 10 seconds left. Jacob Atkinson applied full court pressure on Foster, who finished with a game-high 21 points for the Raiders, forcing a missed a 3-pointer as time expired for the Warriors to advance. Harrison Owens finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Barrett and Kurtis Brown each had 10 points.
After a 1:00 AM arrival back in Thomasville early Friday morning and driving to Americus again Friday after school, the sluggish Warriors couldn’t get the lid off the rim to start Friday’s championship game. Trailing by 18 in the 2nd Quarter, the Warriors found themselves facing an uphill climb again.
By halftime, the 18-point deficit was already cut to 12 courtesy a 6-0 Brookwood run. For the second night in a row, the Warriors were a different team in the 3rd, outpacing the Panthers up the floor in a dominant 25-11 quarter to take a 37-35 lead going into the 4th. Brookwood shot 18 of 23 in the 2nd Half as a team from the free-throw line, a major difference in the game. Harrison Owens finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. JP Chapman posted 13 points of his own in the 51-45 win. It’s the Warriors’ first Region championship since 2008.
“Both nights were absolute team wins. Great plays by so many different players. Positive team energy from everyone. Proud of the guys for taking advantage of their opportunity. We’re excited to host Wednesday night,” said Coach Giudice.
The Warriors host three visiting teams on Wednesday, as they face Dominion Christian from Marietta at 7:30 p.m. in the Beverly Athletic Center. In the 6:00 p.m. game, Frederica Academy will take on Bethlehem Christian. The two winners would match up in the 2nd Round on Saturday in Macon.To see the State Playoff Brackets, click here!
Scroll down to AAA Boys to see Brookwood's road in the State Tournament.