Special to SEGAZINE
Coach Tripp Herrin said that Pierce’s shooting and Brantley’s second half performance in some areas were what took the first quarter 18-15 Brantley lead away from the Herons.
“They [Pierce] hit ten 3-point baskets in the first half,” he said. “We did a poor job in the second half containing their dribble penetration and were unable to get over the hump.”
By the half, the Bears had a narrow 37-33 lead over the Herons and while the boys were able to maintain a close game throughout the third only trailing 51-46 they remained at a fairly equal distance in the final minutes when the Bears finished with a 67-63 lead.
But some fans say a crucial call in the last seconds of the game while the Herons were only down by a single point may have also played a major role in the Pierce County victory.
With the Herons only trailing 62-61, one parent captured a foul of his son, Colt Yawn, during the pivotal game on slow motion video.
The video shows a foul, but the referees of the game called a “jump-ball” instead.
The video was sent to various school coaching officials and to the head of the group refereeing the games, the South Georgia Basketball Officials Association.
Derrick Bradshaw lead with 16 points and 7 rebounds for the night followed by Tyler Chambless with 12 points who also led rebounds with 8.
Colt Yawn also had 12 points in the game as well as 5 assists and 5 rebounds.
Zack Edwards had 9 points and three 3-pointers for the game.
Tre Green had 8 points and 7 rebounds followed by Ian Jackson with 4. Camry Chapman had 2 points for the night.
Friday’s game was a better story for the Herons, who took down the Islands High School sharks yet again with a lead throughout.
The Herons took an 11-7 lead in the first quarter of the game and continued to distance themselves from the Sharks in the half with 31-19 at the end of the second quarter. The Heron offensive only got stronger in the second half with a 58-24 lead in the third before bringing the game home with a 72-37 lead at the end.
But Herrin said the defense was could be equally credited with the major win.
“Our pressure defense was the difference in the second and third quarters,” he said. “We got a lot of steals out of our press and were able to finish in transition.”
Coach Herrin said that everyone got playing time in the game and that the team really played with energy throughout the game.
Chambless had 18 points for the night with Green going in for 10. Edwards had 9 and Yawn had 8. Meanwhile Jackson had 6 and Bradshaw had 5. Stephon Roberson had 4 points followed by Luke Aldridge and Kyle Lairsey with 3. Dalton Lairsey, Ross Allen and Dalton Thrams each had 2 points for the game.
The Herons almost had another victory in a game against the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets that was close throughout but were mere points shy at the final buzzer.
The Yellow Jackets came out strong in the first quarter leading 22-7 but were not allowed another easier quarter throughout the night. By halftime Southeast Bulloch only led by 6 points 28-22 having been unable to score more many points throughout the quarter. The six point difference remained in the beginning of the second half where the Yellow Jackets led 42-36. The Herons closed the gap but were 5 points down at the end of the game with a final score of 56-51.
“We fell behind early and couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole,” coach Herrin said. “We got our press working in the second quarter and it keyed a good run. We had a hard time guarding them man-to-man.”
Edwards led scoring with 14 points and a career high 4 three-point baskets in the game.
Bradshaw also made a good showing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Yawn had 9 points in the game while Chambless had 8 points and 8 rebounds. Jackson had 4 points followed by Green and Dalton Lairsey with 2 each.
Herrin encouraged the community to come to support the team and its elder members at Senior Night on Friday, Feb. 8 when the Herons take on New Hampstead.