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Andrew Stapleton battles through the piedmont defense to shoot in his 14-point night Saturday at Briarwood.

After back-to-back weekend losses at home, the Briarwood Academy Runnin’ Bucs carried a 3-7 record into the start of this week.

Saturday night, the Bucs lost 69-36 to Piedmont Academy.

“Saturday  was not a pretty game. We just really didn’t play well,”  said Briarwood Head Coach Ryan Gerlach. “We dug ourselves into an early hole and didn’t really do a good job keeping our composure.”

The coach said his team turned the ball over too much, gave up too many rebounds, and allowed too many unchallenged shots from outside.

By halftime, the Bucs trailed 35-18. In the opening quarter, Briarwood had only scored 4, but improved the pace to 14 points in the second quarter.

“We have  to do a better job  keeping our composure and handling those moments when we can’t really score and trust the offense to get us good looks,” said Gerlach.

Piedmont held Briarwood point guard Aaron Land, typically the high scorer for the Bucs, to just 3 points. Andrew Stapleton and Christian Thigpen provided 25 of the Bucs’ 36 points against Piedmont. Stapleton scored 14 and Thigpen 11. Of Stapleton’s points, 8 came from the free throw line.

The Saturday loss to Piedmont came a night after the Bucs fell to Thomas Jefferson Academy 59-53.

“It was a really hard game,” said Gerlach. “We have to do a better job rebounding and keeping teams off the offensive boards. We’re giving up too many second-chance points and it’s coming back to get us.”

The coach said Thomas Jefferson also hit some big 3s late in the game to clinch the win.

Land led the Bucs in scoring Friday night with 21. Dax Reese took second in scoring for the Bucs with  13.

This week features two region games, one away and one at home. At the start of the week, the Bucs were 0-2 in the region.

Tuesday the Bucs traveled to Athens to play Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School. The game began after press time for this week’s edition of the McDuffie Progress so results were not available.

This Friday, the Bucs will host Edmund Burke Academy, a region game, and then Saturday travel to Piedmont Academy for a non-region game.

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