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Greenbrier Sweeps Augusta Christian Before Holiday Break

Includes a Q&A with Greenbrier Head Coaches Dee Howard and Ryan Morningstar, along with the games’ highlights and box scores.

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Boys 

Cyrus Wilder – Greenbrier
School 1Q2Q3Q4QFinal
Greenbrier 1410182265
Augusta Christian 912172260

    Greenbrier – Cyrus Wilder 7 3-4 19, Hampton Goff 2 5-6 9, Jackson Jennings 1 0-0 2,  Andrew Black 5 0-0 13, Kai-Aire Rhodes 2 0-0 5, Davin Driskell 2 0-0 4, Khaleel Pratt 4 3-4 11, Sean Edewor 0 1-2 1, Levi Wahl 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 12-16 65.

    Augusta Christian – Johnny O’keefe 4 4-6 14, Tray Moseley 2 4-4 10, Elijah Crawford 7 8-10 22, Cam Slade 1 0-0 3, Luke Wilson 3 3-3 9, Zachary Blackwell 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 19-23 60.

Three- point goals – Greenbrier: 6 (Wilder 2, Black 3, Rhodes). Augusta Christian: 5 (O’keefe 2, Moseley 2, Slade).

Winner of three of its past four games, Greenbrier improved to 3-5 overall with a 65-60 win at home over Augusta Christian Saturday. The Wolfpack also won Friday night, topping region foe Apalachee 59-40. Like he did in Saturday’s win (see box score above) over Augusta Christian, Cyrus Wilder led the Wolfpack in scoring Friday with 14 points. Greenbrier sports a 2-1 region record heading into the holidays.

Saturday was our first time seeing Greenbrier in person since the opening game of the season. So we took the opportunity after the game to ask second year coach Dee Howard a couple questions.

Q&A with Greenbrier Head Coach Dee Howard

Q: I bet it feels good to be able to play games. With so many teams having to cancel games and sit out of playing right now, how do you and the players feel about being able to take the court twice this weekend, and to get two wins on top of that?

A: It definitely feels good to be playing! With everything that’s been happening so far this season, the opportunity to lace ‘em up and get after it against good competition, and to safely do so, is a blessing. 

To go into the break with 2 good wins always feels good and it gives you some momentum coming out for the 2nd half of the season.

Q: The other question I have is about Cyrus Wilder. Tell us about his ability to catch fire offensively and some of the ways he’s helped the team by doing that. Or by doing other things well, if you prefer to talk about his other qualities.

A: Cyrus has the ability to get into the teeth of the defense because of his quick 1st step. He’s also improved a good deal with his shot selection and creating shots for his teammates.

He’s effecting the game with passing and limited his turnovers!

Girls 

Caitlin Staley – Greenbrier
School1Q2Q3Q4QFinal
Greenbrier 231210853
Augusta Christian 569929

    Greenbrier – Trinity Barrow 3 0-0 6, Lauryn Sharper 1 0-0 2, La’Miya Blake 2 2-4 6, Brooklyn Begley 1 0-0 3, Ayana Staley 1 0-0 2, Caitlin Staley 8 1-1 17, Dabria Staley 2 2-2 6, Morgan McMurray 0 2-2 2, Jah’Laila Owens 3 0-2 7, Maya Anderson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 7-11 53.

    Augusta Christian – Ja’keria Bonner 0 1-4 1, Avery Janinney 1 0-0 3, Kaylee Jackson 2 1-3 5, Alexis Perrell 2 0-0 5, Lydia Thomas 1 2-2 5, Abby White 1 2-2 4, Iyana Beard 1 4-10 6. Totals: 8 10-21 29.

Three-point goals – Greenbrier: 2 (Begley, Owens). Augusta Christian: 3 (Janinney, Perrell, Thomas).

After breezing past Augusta Christian Saturday, the Lady Wolfpack will go into the holiday break with an overall record of 4-2 and a region mark of 1-1. Head coach Ryan Morningstar answered my questions after the game about Caitlin Staley, his promising 6-3 sophomore center who transferred to Greenbrier this year, as well as Trinity Barrow, another sophomore who has deftly run the offense for Greenbrier for one-and-a-half seasons.

Q&A with Greenbrier Head Coach Ryan Morningstar

Q: Tell me about Caitlin Staley’s performance tonight and during the season so far. I think she’s awesome. And I think she’ll be a great player for you. But what do you think?

A: Caitlin did a great job running the floor, allowing our guards, especially Trinity, to find her in transition and she finished well tonight. We hit the boards on the offensive end and she capitalized on second chance points for us as well. As for the season she is still adjusting to our style of play but continues to build chemistry with our group and put in the work. 

I feel we truly have a complete team and are continuing to be excited for this group. With the addition of Caitlin along with our returners we are a very unselfish group who wants to see each other improve. We had 10 different players score tonight. Caitlin brings a presence on defense end with her shot blocking ability.  She causes players to alter their shots

Q: You mentioned Trinity. That’s timely because my second question was this: 

How beneficial is it for Caitlin, and Jordan Tanksley and all of your players, to be fortunate enough to play with a point guard with the qualities Trinity Barrow possesses?

A: Trinity makes everyone on the floor better. She is a true PG with unbelievable court vision. She sees the floor so well and always makes the right pass, finding her teammates and setting them up to score. Our shooters like Jordan and Brooklyn Begley benefit from her ability to draw defenders and kick to them for shots. Trinity only needs a small window to feed the post, allowing them to be successful. We have to tell her to be more selfish at times when we need her to score the ball.  She is the motor for our team that definitely makes us go. She would rather have more assists than points. You don’t get the opportunity to coach a kid like her too often. That goes back to us truly having a complete team. She’s a true PG with unbelievable handles, 2 to 3 shooters on the floor and a true post with Caitlin.

Featured

[Livestream] Grovetown vs Evans in Region Battle for Playoff Position

Evans hosts Grovetown and looks to avenge their buzzer beater loss to the Warriors on January 22nd.

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“Sophomore Malik Ferguson picked up a loose ball in the middle of the paint with one second remaining, and right before the fourth quarter buzzer sounded, he released a shot that found its mark to give Grovetown 61-60 win over Evans Friday, a result that threw the top spot in the class 6A, region 5 standings into a three way tie between Grovetown, Evans and Heritage to mark the beginning of the stretch run for the league’s regular season championship. Ferguson’s shot came at the end of a full court dash by Grovetown after head coach Darren Douglas was able to draw up a play during a timeout that was meant to result in a bucket in only six seconds. The play was designed for senior Zach Bell, who eventually fumbled the ball after spinning between defenders at the end of a drive that began near half court after he gathered the ball from freshman Derrion Reid.”

That was Chad Cook’s rundown of the instant classic that these two teams played two weeks ago. That win by Grovetown sets up a must-win scenario for Evans as they look to maintain their footing in the race for a region championship.

Be sure to get your ? ready early because if tonight’s game is as exciting as the last one, you just might forget those jokers altogether!

Streams will be posted here. Tip-off times are as follows:
Girls – 6:30 PM
Boys – 8:00 PM

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Culture

Former Basketball Stars Lead the Way in Business, Community Service, and Artistic Pursuits

Harold Doby, Reggie Middleton and Roman Hill have turned a brand into a business, a lifestyle and a mental framework for impacting their community.

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Reggie Middleton (left) and Harold Doby (right)

On January 4th, the day after Harold Doby’s “Books and Life Lessons” (B.A.L.L.) charitable organization conducted a coat drive to help keep warm some of the most vulnerable people in the downtown area, I spoke with Doby and Reggie Middleton, two lifelong friends and former college and high school basketball stars, at Middleton’s “Came From Nxthing Designer Apparel” shop at 120 James Brown Boulevard. Our interview (below) covered the coat drive, Reggie’s entrepreneurial journey, and the meaning behind the “Came From Nxthing” brand, which originated from the music of Roman Hill, our third interviewee. Hill’s friendship with Doby and Middleton helped sprout a “movement” that has provided a framework for the three former athletes to impact the world through acts of community service, business, art, entrepreneurship and charity.

The interview provided a great chance for me to get reacquainted with two men I’ve watched grow from being boys who excelled in a game, to leaders of their families and their community. I bet others who watched them star at Glenn Hills and Winthrop (Middleton), and at Laney and Augusta University (Doby), will also gain satisfaction from hearing about their continued personal development. For example, Reggie explained how he took advantage of his basketball talent to earn a job playing professional basketball in London. Then he used his experience there to hatch a business idea to bring high-quality fashion for an affordable price to people in his hometown.

Reggie Middleton scored 1,186 points for Winthrop.

Harold’s concern for people who are most in need, whether it be the men and women he personally distributed the coats to earlier this month, or the students in his school he recalled giving clothes and shoes to when he was in grade school, is the original reason for my getting back into contact with the two men I once coached and taught when they were middle schoolers.

Harold Doby distributing coats in downtown Augusta on January 4.

I’m grateful we reconnected because they are a shining example of what can be greatest about sports and the community that builds around such a life journey: strong, caring relationships developed through shared experiences, encounters with adversity, and moments of triumph, as well as failures and hardships. Reggie’s story about how he has been able to take the difficult circumstances of the pandemic and nonetheless thrive in business with his “back against the wall” by drawing on his experiences as a basketball player growing up reinforces something I’ve always believed, that youth sports is great practice for real life. 

Harold Doby and Reggie Middleton, as well as Roman Hill, whom Doby first met as his rapping Augusta University basketball teammate, are winning the game of real life every bit as much as they did when they mastered the game of basketball as younger men.

Look out for news of the next Drive from B.A.L.L. Visit the Came From Nxthing Designer Apparel Facebook page to see Reggie’s merchandise, shop with him online or find store information:

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