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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.

College

CSRA Sports Wrap Podcast – Episode 2

Because its regular season just ended, this week’s show is heavily focused on the high school scene, with an equal focus on both the area’s boys and girls side

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Because its regular season just ended, this week’s show is heavily focused on the high school scene, with an equal focus on both the area’s boys and girls side.

CSRA Sports Wrap Podcast – Episode 2

***Special Note: Starting at the 24:30 mark in the video above, Chad explained his understanding for why Evans didn’t play Milton Friday. After seeing the episode, Evans head coach and athletic director Kevin Kenny contacted us and asked to be interviewed so he could correct the record and give his first hand account of why the region tournament for the area’s class 6A region was canceled, and for why the game against Milton didn’t happen. Here is the interview with Coach Kenny, a direct response to the 30 second explanation Chad gave starting at the 24:30 mark of episode 2 (above).***

Evans Head Coach and Athletic Director Kevin Kenny’s Response to Episode 2

Show Notes – Episode 2

Segment 1 – A tour through the regular season

0:00 – 4:15

The impact of the virus on the high school season, using North Augusta’s boys as an example

4:30 – 6:35

Chad’s Fantastic Five (plus a 6th man) freshmen

6:35 – 8:15

Describing and showing of the most eye catching individual highlights of the season

Girls Basketball in Focus…

8:15 – 11:50

Focusing on girls basketball, Charles describes what it has been like to see Laney take a step back and watch Cross Creek, Butler and Josey all take down the Lady Wildcats and assert themselves as forces to be reckoned with.

11:50 – 18:30

More about local girls basketball…

Chad weighs in on the changing of the guard on the girls side and Jordyn Dorsey’s excellence on the court AND in the classroom is highlighted as we hear from Jordyn herself.

But before we hear from Jordyn we take a tour through pretty much the entire area when it come to girls hoops. Finally, we hear from Jordyn at about the 18:00 mark.

***The CSRA Sports Wrap Podcast is also available in an audio only format. Here is the SoundCloud version of Episode 2:***

***And here is the SoundCloud audio version of Coach Kenny’s response to Episode 2***

Segment 2 – Court Side Seats

Focusing on recent thrillers we witnessed:

– Butler vs Laney (Doubleheader)

– Wheeler vs Kell

– Augusta Christian vs Ben Lippen

– Butler vs Westside

– Fox Creek vs Strom Thurmond***

18:30 – 20:15

Butler vs Laney (girls)

20:15 – 21:30

Butler vs Laney (boys)

21:30 – 23:30

Chad talks about Butler’s stacked roster and its dominant final week of the regular season, with blowout wins over Laney and Westside.

23:30 – 24:15

And we finish the Butler talk by showing the bucket Brionna Sims (of the Lady Bulldogs) scored Friday to eclipse the 1,000 point barrier, as well as the celebration that followed.

24:30 – 25:15

What happened to Evans vs Milton?

25:15 – 27:30

Class 6A Showdown

#1 Wheeler vs #2 Kell

Scoota Henderson – The next Sharife Cooper, Ant-Man Edwards, Collin Sexton

Wheeler – The defending Class 7A state champion

27:30 – 32:00

Augusta Christian vs Ben Lippen

Augusta Christian’s January surge and a rundown of its key players.

Is freshman Elijah Crawford the best player in the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA), which is the high school home of Zion Williamson?

32:00 – 33:30

About Elijah Crawford’s progression throughout the years and his work with trainer Darrin Shine. Can Elijah Crawford (a freshman) one day become a the kind of player Scoota Henderson (a junior) is?

33:30 – 35:35

Butler vs Westside – For the Class 2A regular season region championship

Charles talks about a favorite player of his, senior point guard Ronnie Striggles.

35:35 – 37:25

Fox Creek vs Strom Thurmond

***Segment 3 – Augusta University Basketball Update***

37:25 – 40:20

Augusta University vs Flagler Doubleheader

The Lady Jaguars improved to 4-1 in PBC play

40:20 – 42:40

We hear from men’s head coach Dip Metress, who explains why his team, even though it has been severely impacted by the loss of 5 players for the rest of the season, will not be “opting out.”

43:30 – 47:00

Previewing next week’s show

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