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PREP BASKETBALL: Redskins hand Calhoun Co. first loss in Elite Eight
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EDISON, Ga. —The Social Circle Redskins made the most of its 400-plus mile road trip to Edison, Georgia on Wednesday. In the Elite Eight, the Redskins downed the Calhoun County Cougars 88-77 — Calhoun County’s first loss of 2022. 

Now, Social Circle not only advances to the Final Four of the Class A-Public playoffs, but it also solidifies its spot as the only team left who is undefeated in the entire state.

Head coach Taylor Jackson highlighted how accomplishing this feat represents the players’ commitment to being successful on the basketball court. 

“It’s really just a byproduct of us and the work we do every single day,” Jackson said. “It’s definitely been tough. Whether we were 20-10 or even 0-30, the journey and the camaraderie is what we're trying to instill. And the boys have just bought in. This is a seasoned group and being 30-0 is just a fruit of that work.” 

Wednesday’s matchup was a lot closer for the Redskins than their contests prior in the state playoffs. Even so, multiple players stepped up when their team needed it most. 

KJ Reid led all Social Circle scorers with 21 points on the night. Amarion Russell came in with 15 points off the bench while Tyhrell Branch and Cam Gaither each scored 14. 

Philip Baynes Jr., contributed 12 points with Lamarius Jackson being the sixth Redskins to score double-digit points having 10. 

All Redskins contributing to the winning effort is what Jackson said has fueled this season’s success all year long. 

“We have kids who can shoot and kids who can finish at the rim,” Jackson said. “Having a balanced scoring makes it really tough to guard us. And, if a guy has an off night, he’s got so much behind him. We’re just really clicking on offense and it’s been fun.” 

Social Circle now faces Drew Charter, the No. 1 seed out of Region 6A-Public for the Redskins’ first-ever appearance in the Final Four. The matchup will take place on Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. hosted at Valdosta State University. 

According to Jackson, Wednesday’s road game at Calhoun County served as a “blessing in disguise” in preparation for another road trip the Redskins will have to make this season. 

Even so, Jackson believes his team will be ready and motivated for the challenge Drew Charter presents. 

“Drew Charter has been the team that has been in front of us the entire year in a certain number of polls. So, we have been chasing them. I feel like our kids still have the mindset that ‘[Drew Charter] is still the comparison.’ I think we’re going to be dialed in and focused with still a lot to prove with the game against Drew Charter. They’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”