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Sims Leads Butler Past #6 Josey after Bulldogs Withstand Furious Run

Josey head coach Jawan Bailey explains what it’s like managing his way through unprecedented circumstances after a 31 day forced break from game play.

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#23 Jayla Thomas – Butler 

School1Q2Q3Q4QFinal
Butler 139111043
Josey 10571840

    Butler – Lauren Braddy 1 1-2 4, Jamesha Slater 0 1-2 1, Jayla Thomas 10 0-1 20, Markera Tarver 2 0-0 5, Brionna Sims 6 1-2 13. Totals: 19 3-7 43.

    Josey – JaCayla Shorty 1 1-4 3, Arieonna Booker 3 1-3 7, Deajah Houck 3 3-4 12, Jamirah Mitchell 2 1-2 7, Ky’Shonna Brown 0 1-2 1, Mercedes Dames 3 1-2 7, Laura Jarrett 1 0-4 3. Totals: 13 7-21 40

Three-point goals – Butler: 2 (Braddy, Tarver). Josey: 6 (Houck 3. Mitchell 2, Jarrett). 

Butler topped #6 Josey 43-30 in region competition Tuesday behind a game high 20 points by Jayla Thomas and 13 from Brionna Sims. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in region play. Josey, which was led in scoring by senior Deajah Houck, who scored 12 points and made 3 three pointers, fell to 2-4 for the season in dropping its region opener.

The Bulldogs led the entire final 26 minutes and withstood a 17-6 run by Josey that began right after Sims scored in the paint on a baseline out of bounds play with 6:28 remaining in the fourth quarter that put Butler ahead 35-22, its largest lead of the game. Josey stormed back into contention and eventually cut the deficit to 41-39 with 1:40 remaining when Jamirah Mitchell nailed a three pointer from the left wing. But Sims immediately halted Josey’s run with a layup on the other end that was assisted by Lauren Braddy.

“Jayla has been working hard over the break,” said second year head coach Eboni Fields about Thomas. “She was in the right place at the right times, and our guards did a good job finding her.”

Josey head coach Jawan Bailey also praised both Thomas and Sims, as well as Fields, on Twitter after the game.

“These two young ladies played great ball tonight,” Bailey tweeted about Thomas and Sims. “Coach Eboni Fields is a childhood friend of mine, and she’s doing a great job with this program.”

Given the shadow that the current stage of the pandemic has cast over the basketball season, with more games seemingly being postponed or canceled than played as planned, Bailey’s tone in our post game texting interview seemed most appropriate. He described his long time friendship with Fields, and he thoughtfully explained why Tuesday’s result was far less important to his players, and to him, than the fact that they actually had the chance to play at all, after being out of action for 31 days before Tuesday. And he also conveyed the anxiety that he feels, that many of us feel, about playing at all right now, because of the events around us, while at the same time understanding how much the sport means to his players.

Jawan Bailey on opposing coach and on playing after a 31 day forced break:

Eboni and I go back to Kindergarten at C.T. Walker. We spent 9 years attending school together. Some of her closest friends are my closest friends. If I’m going to lose to anybody I prefer it to be to her, lol.

But yes! This loss doesn’t sting as much because we were excited to just get back on the court for competition. 31 days without a game and you’re going to struggle against a good team like Butler. My girls showed heart at the end not giving up and I’m just excited to see them competing again. 

We just hope and pray we get a chance to build on this. My emotions juggle daily because even though I know the risk for my players and their families for some of them playing basketball is the best part of their day. For my seniors they will never get the opportunity to be a high school b-ball player again. I try and find peace in knowing we take every measure we can to be safe and still give these kids some type of normalcy.

Because for some time now there have seemed to be no good answers for the health problem we face, the hopes and prayers Bailey referred to are what all of us who want the best for the players are left with to manage our way through these unprecedented times.

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Wanna Be A Student Reporter? Come Join Our Team!

Whether it’s student-athletes producing highlights, or student-journalists producing highlight reels, there are a lot of shining talents in the Augusta River Region! Zone706 wants to give that talent another platform to shine upon.

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Be A Student Sports Reporter

In the bright new morning of name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals, there are more opportunities than ever for students who want to pursue career opportunities in sports media. 

Whether it’s student-athletes producing highlights, or student-journalists producing highlight reels, there are a lot of shining talents in the Augusta River Region! Zone706 wants to give that talent another platform to shine upon.

We’re looking for student reporters to join our team. This opportunity is ideal for any student who wants to support their team while gaining valuable sports journalism experience in the process! Our goal is to empower area students to find their creative voices and give them the journalistic tools to harness them. 

As a Zone706 student reporter, you will document and record news, highlights, previews, recaps, etc., for your school’s teams. You’ll have the freedom to attend the games and write on the topics that you want.  We’ll help build your journalism portfolio and develop skills that will prepare you for roles in sports media, including: 

  • Shooting and editing photos and videos
  • Optimizing web content for search engines 
  • Social media reporting
  • Interviewing and script writing
  • Story idea generation

If you or someone you know is right for this opportunity, send questions along with writing and media samples to info@zone706.com

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MTTM Podcast: Coach Darren Douglas

Coach Douglas talks growing up in Louisiana, moving to Augusta, becoming a coach and winning a State Championship at Aquinas in his second year!

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