TUESDAY PREP HOOPS ROUNDUP: DWS boys coach Gruhl on verge of career win No. 1,000

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY — Deerfield-Windsor boys basketball coach Gordy Gruhl will be looking for more than a GISA Region 3-AAA title at ABAC this week.

He will be looking for a little history, a benchmark that few will ever claim.

Gruhl, whose Knights are the No. 1 seed in GISA Region 3-AAA, enters Friday’s semifinal game against the winner of the Westfield-Southland game with 998 wins, and if his team wins Thursday and captures the title Friday, he can reach the 1,000th win mark, possibly against bitter rival Sherwood, which is the favorite to advance to the finals on the other side of the bracket.

“It would be special to get 1,000 and a region title at the same time,” Gruhl said. “But we need to take care of business first. If we end up facing Westfield (in the semis) we have to play well. That’s the same team that beat us for the region title last year, so we have to be careful what we wish for.”

REGION 3-A TOURNAMENT UPDATE: The Randolph Southern boys and girls teams were both eliminated from postseason play Tuesday night in the region tournament at Westwood.

That sets up four games Thursday in Camilla: Westwood girls vs. Grace Christian at 4 p.m.; Westwood boys vs. Georgia Christian at 5:30 p.m.; Crisp Academy girls vs. Georgia Christian at 7 p.m.; and Crisp Academy boys vs. Highland Christian at 8:30 p.m.

REGION 3-AA TOURNEY: Brookwood’s girls and boys, and CCA girls and Valwood boys all advanced with wins Tuesday at Fullington.

SGA’s boys will now play Brookwood on Thursday, while TAE’s girls will face Brookwood.

DOUGHERTY GIRLS TOP AMERICUS-SUMTER: In a big shake-up day in Region 1-AAA, the Dougherty girls basketball team beat Americus-Sumter, 46-26, to notch its second win this season and sweep the series.

Americus, ranked No. 5 in The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll, was only down three at halftime, then eight after the third quarter, but completely fell apart from there as key players fouled out and no Lady Panthers managed to reach double figures. The loss now means Monroe moves up to the No. 2 seed in the upcoming region tournament, Dougherty (15-5) is now No. 3 and Americus (16-7) is No. 4.

Herald No. 3 Dougherty was led by Amber Ward’s 18 points, followed by 10 from Shawntal Byrd. The Lady Trojans will now close out the regular season Friday at home against Worth County, while Americus closes out Friday at home against No. 1 Westover.

SEMINOLE SWEEPS MILLER IN BACKYARD BRAWL/FAMILY FEUD FINALES: The Seminole County girls made it a clean sweep Tuesday, while the boys got revenge on rival Miller County in the annual Backyard Brawl/Family Feud.

The Indians, who were smashed earlier this season by the Pirates, 57-41, redeemed themselves Tuesday thanks to a double-double from freshman Tay Leonard, who poured in 17 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in the win.

“Tay was the difference,” SC coach Kevin Godwin said. “He had a monster game and just dominated the paint.”

Jakari Martin led Seminole with 21, followed by 15 from Jamarkus Gray. Jacolby Jones and Lamar Perkins each scored 12 for Miller in the loss.

The Lady Indians, meanwhile, took care of business again, beating the Lady Pirates, 50-33, behind 15 points from Candace Barber, 12 from Alexus Watson and 11 from Marissa Mike. Mallory Diamond led Miller with 15 points.

Seminole’s teams will close out Saturday at home against Pelham.

MITCHELL COUNTY GIRLS 75, BAKER 37: The Lady Eagles got a season-high from Shonbreka Holton with 32 points, while A’Miracle Jones added 18, and Cierra Hawkins led Baker with 24.

Baker closed out its regular season at 3-19 overall and 2-11 in region play, while Mitchell (12-11, 7-4) secured the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Region 1-A tournament and will close out its regular season Friday at home against TCC.


Margie 3 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations and best wishes to all GISA teams. It has been a bittersweet season. Some teams did not do as well in regular season play due to rebuilding. But, as a whole, the schools were represented well, regardless of the scoreboard. Now, on to Region play, which means the fair game for all teams, and it can certainly go either way. Cinderella teams do emerge, so for those teams with more losses than win during regular season, the "big" prize is up for grabs. Deerfield is the favorite to win it all at the Regional level. An outstanding, discipline young team, but coached by a seasoned veteran and thats what makes the difference in teams. Schools need to hire coaches that are committed to the program, kids and school for a few years opposed to a year or two. Everytime a new coach comes in, the players have to start all over again. So, if other schools want to develop a program, opposed to a season team, spend a little money and hire someone that can make it happen, with time. Play well all teams.


Sister_Ruby 3 years, 9 months ago

Miss Margie, when coach after coach after coach come in and stay two or even one year and leave, some questions should be asked. Maybe it's not the coaches? Maybe it's something about the environment? I don't know, I just ask the questions.


Margie 3 years, 9 months ago

Sister_Ruby, it could be the environment in some cases. But, it also could be several other things such as; the willingness of the school to PAY, the dedication of the coach to develop a program, which may take a while, depending on where the team is at the time, oppose to waiting to his/her own personal interests and gains, as how many notches can I put on my belt? It seems to be that just as a team begin to rebuild and get the combination, have a good season or even a winning season, the coach is gone or leaves. Also, coaches will leave after the winning team so to speak have graduated, not wanting to deal with a losing season. Another reason could be letting the coach, coach without being brutal or disrespectful. High school sports are not recreation sports, wherein everybody has to play. This is competition ball, and the kids need to know how to compete at this level if they are going to continue the play in college, where you earn your spot. There are a lot of kids that you hear about in the local school that are outstanding. All in the newspaper, making 20 points a games, or throwing x number of tocuhdowns or even making them. But, when they go to college, many you never hear about. Why? Because there are other kids, just as good or better. So, you earn your spot. No spot, no play, simple. Another reason is parent support. Parents should support the coach, and let him/her coach. Often times parents are on the sideline coaching. But whatever the reason may be, no one can take away the fact that Gruhl is one of the kind. He is an establishment at DW, and therefore they have a program, and not a basketball team for the season. believe it or not, that is the difference. It is obvious that he made an investment, and it has paid off for him, the school and the players. Oh, by the way, I am not connected to DW, but speaking my personal opinion and truth. Yes, environment has a lot to do with everything, including your personal life. But, in the finally analysis it is the HEART.


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