Brookwood basketball season comes to an end

Feb. 26—THOMASVILLE — Coming off excellent runs in the regular season and region tournaments, both the Brookwood girls and boys basketball teams' seasons have come to an end. Both squads made it to the second round of the state playoffs where the girls fell to Lakeview Academy and the boys were defeated for just the third time this season by Frederica.

The Lady Warriors had an excellent season, going 18-9 and 5-5 in the region. Led by senior Maddie Duncan, Brookwood proved they could play with anybody, as the defeated solid public school programs in Cairo, Chiles, Brooks County and Thomasville. They began their season on an impressive 11-game win streak.

The Lady Warriors racked up some impressive stats this season. According to Maxpreps, while averaging 30 points per game, the Brookwood defense was especially impressive. They averaged over 10 steals per game and more than 21 rebounds.

With the end of every season comes graduation, and this year's graduation will hurt this Lady Warriors team. Senior Maddie Duncan has played her last game on the hardwood for Brookwood and she will be sorely missed. Duncan led Brookwood in several major categories, including rebounds, blocks and steals. She was an extremely effective scorer inside as well. However, this year did see several players emerge as top talents on this Lady Warriors squad. Morgan Boggs was a solid scorer, leading the Lady Warriors with 10.2 points per game, and Ainsley Jacobson was especially effective on the offensive end, averaging 3.3 assists per game and shooting 39% from beyond the arc.

The boys squad had high hopes for the state tournament. They finished the region tournament as region champs, finishing with 26 wins on the season, just two losses and a bye in the first round of the state tournament, Unfortunately, Frederica got the better of them. However, while the loss hurts, head coach Nate VanDuyne is choosing to see the positives in the loss.

"It breeds hunger as we move into the offseason and look toward to '24-'25 campaign," Vanduyne said.

One of the things VanDuyne reflected on most was the camaraderie the team found this season. They spent an incredible amount of time together between practices and game, service projects, a trip to Auburn and even sharing meals together.

"The experience with who was in the locker room, it was just a phenomenal ride," VanDuyne said."I think we are going to look back on it with great fondness, but also be hungry to kind of run it back and do it again."

A big plus for the Warriors is that they went 26-3 and won the region title with a very young team. Due to some injuries as well, many young players got to play minutes they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Brookwood's two best players in Walker Jackson and Roscoe Jones have multiple years left with the program, so if this season proved anything it's that this Warriors basketball program is one to be feared for several years to come.

'It's got to be one of the best problems I've ever had in coaching," VanDuyne said with a chuckle. "We're returning virtually all production. That's a great thing."

VanDuyne was also quick to praise the selflessness of this Warriors team and the importance of keeping his squad thinking about each other and not the individual.

"What made this a great experience, it was just the amount of selflessness that these guys had. They genuinely did not care who made the play as long as someone made the play," Vanduyne said. "I think it's important that we remember what got us here and that we continue to build upon that."