When the calendar turns on the prep basketball season, it’s a new season.
For some teams, that’s a new lease on life, and some area squads are taking advantage.
Heading into the new year at 7-7, Brunswick High School girls basketball is 2-2 in January, and 2-0 in its region matchups. The Lady Pirates beat Glynn Academy and Richmond Hill to improve to 3-0 with sole possession of first place in Region 2-6A.
Head coach Maria Mangram said despite some early road blocks during its 2016 schedule, the Lady Pirates thought they could still come out of the early season as one of the most poised teams in the region. They have a title to defend, after all.
“For us we just established the motto ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,’” Mangram said. “To the public, people will say this and that, but to us region play really matters.”
Brunswick turns to Effingham County on the road Friday. Effingham was thumped by Glynn Academy early in the year and its lone win this season is against 0-3 Richmond Hill. A win would mean Brunswick had beat all of its region foes at least once, a good start to defending its 2015 title.
“We can say it’s downhill (after Effingham), but anyone can be beat on any given night,” Mangram said.
The Brunswick boys, meanwhile, will try to bounce back from a loss at home to Richmond Hill. The Pirates are 2-1 in the region with the opportunity to close back in on first place if Bradwell Institute can knock off Richmond Hill.
The Glynn Academy boys basketball team has suffered some tough-luck losses, but has still managed to claw its way to a 2-2 record in Region 2-6A.
In his first season at Glynn, Terrance Haywood’s squad picked up an early win at home against Effingham before the Red Terrors had to endure a three-game region road trip to start 2017, on which Glynn salvaged a 1-2 record. The Red Terrors lost by one point to Richmond Hill followed by a 12-point loss to Brunswick in which the Red Terrors had control of the lead after the first quarter.
Leaving Hinesville with a win over Bradwell Institute was a confidence boost for the Red Terrors, who enter a two-game stretch of non-region games against Beach on Saturday and Camden County on Tuesday.
“A win is always good, and definitely when you can get a road win,” said head coach Terrance Haywood.
There is a week before the Red Terrors’ next region game, when Glynn will hit the road again to play familiar foe Effinghman. To navigate the gap, Haywood is turning his team into a squad of film junkies, which he said is key to cutting down the turnovers and getting in better position to rebound, facets of the game that have tripped up the Terrors.
Glynn will finally close out its region schedule with three home games at the end of January. Though Haywood hasn’t dwelt on it much at this point, less travel and a home crowd are a plus for the Red Terrors, particularly late in the season.
“It’s good that we do have those games at home,” Haywood said. “It’s always great to play in front of the home crowd, and we’ve been playing pretty good at home in the middle of the season.”
The Lady Terrors are stumbling of late, following two-straight losses to Brunswick and Bradwell Institute. At 2-2 in the region, Glynn is still well within striking distance of Brunswick for the top spot with four region games to go.
In the GISA, Frederica Academy also has a break from region games as the Knights host Hilton Head Christian on Saturday. Hilton Head swept the Knights earlier this season when Frederica made a trip to South Carolina.
Both the boys and girls squads are off to 1-0 starts in region play and looking forward to a matchup with Trinity Christian in Dublin on Tuesday.