Briarwood picks up pair of wins over Bessemer City, Moody

Published 1:49 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – After losing their two-game set with the Helena Huskies, the Briarwood Christian Lions got back on track with two home wins in three days.

The Lions defeated the Bessemer City Tigers 62-35 on Thursday, Jan. 25 just two days after a 77-37 win over the Moody Blue Devils on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Each of the wins gave Briarwood the sweep in the season series, and both came in part because of Drew Mears scoring 20 points or more in each game.

The Lions came out of the gate firing on all cylinders with a 20-point first quarter. Eli Stubbs led the way with eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, and Mears scored six in the opening period.

The defense held up on its end of the floor and allowed just eight points in the first quarter, and Briarwood took an early 12-point lead.

The teams were tightly matched in the second quarter and combined for 21 additional points before halftime.

While Bessemer City won the quarter 11-0, Luke Schultz’s six points helped keep the Lions’ double-digit lead alive going into halftime as the home side led 30-19 at the break.

After Mears and Stubbs came out of the locker room, the pair got back to their scoring ways, combining for 14 of Briarwood’s 16 third-quarter points thanks to seven-point efforts from each of them.

The Lions kept the Tigers to six points in response during the third, increasing their lead to 46-25.

Briarwood had another 16-point quarter in the fourth quarter, and this time the Lions spread out the offense across Mears, Thomas Loudon and Gabe Margene.

Mears and Loudon scored five more points to add to their totals, while Margene got to work in the fourth with four points.

While the Tigers got into double-digits in the fourth quarter with 10 points, Briarwood wrapped up the 27-point win for its second win of the week.

Mears scored a game-high 20 points and Stubbs had 15 points. Loudon scored eight points, Schultz had six points and Josh Thompson scored five points.

Just two days before that, the Lions used an even more dominant first half of offense to defeat Moody.

Mears dominated in the first quarter with 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers and five made field goals.

That led the way for a 19-point opening quarter that outpaced Moody for a 19-10 lead, but that lead would grow even wider in the second quarter.

Briarwood turned in one of its best quarters of the season with 27 points on offense in the second.

Six different Lions scored at least one basket, including six points from each of Briarwood’s post players, Schultz and Garrett Witherington. Stubbs also scored five points during that time.

On the other end of the floor, the Lions held the Blue Devils to just six more points before halftime to increase the lead to 30 points at the end of the half.

Briarwood did not stop piling on the points from there as Margene dropped his first seven points of the game in the third quarter to go with six more from Mears.

In all, the Lions scored 21 points in the third, outscoring Moody by nine and taking the lead to 67-28.

From there, Briarwood cruised to victory, adding 10 more points to its final total of 77 to win by 40.

Mears had 27 points in the win followed by 14 from Schultz. Witherington scored eight points, Stubbs and Margene each had seven points and Caleb Keller added five points.

Now with a pair of wins under their belt, the Lions will finish out area play on the road against the Pelham Panthers on Monday, Jan. 29.