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Social Circle Redskins suffer sweep in the first round of the state playoffs
Social Circle Basketball Playoffs 2024
Jada Hyman (left) runs down the court against an Athens Christian defender in the Lady Redskins first round playoff matchup. - photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

ATHENS, Ga. — The Social Circle Redskins boys and girls basketball seasons came to an end in the first round of the Class A-Division I playoffs on Wednesday. 

With both matchups coming against Athens Christian, the Lady Redskins fell 66-14 before the Social Circle boys team was defeated 75-42.

Lady Redskins suffer a rout at the hands of the Lady Eagles

The Lady Redskins’ season came to a close as they were eliminated from the state playoffs in a loss to Athens Christian.

Though Social Circle found itself in a large hole at halftime, the Lady Redskins persisted, taking shots and diving after loose balls despite the 37-5 score. Social Circle doubled its score in the final quarter while also holding Athens Christian to six points.

For seven players on the Lady Redskins, this game marked the end of only their first season of high school basketball. 

Head coach Norman Jones said that the growth of those freshmen—from fearing the ball to embracing it—changed the mindset of the team.

“That was learning how to win,” Jones said. “They’ve grown tremendously. They’re going to be special. That’s all I can say. They’re going to be special.”

Despite back-to-back first round playoff exits, the Lady Redskins saw a three-game improvement in record in their first year under Jones. The improvement awarded Social Circle the No. 3 seed in Region 5A-Division I.

In addition to the numerous freshmen returning, scoring leader Jayda Hyman will be back for her final season. Hyman averaged 12.5 points per game on the season and was third in field goal percentage.

As the young Social Circle group continues to grow throughout the offseason, Jones said he hopes that the team’s fight remains.

“Nobody remembers a quitter,” Jones said. “So you need to leave it on the floor and play with effort and heart.”

Athens Christian runs away with 33-point victory over Redskins

Athens Christian ended Social Circle’s postseason hopes as the Redskins fell to the Eagles 75-42 on Wednesday.

A tie midway through the first quarter was broken by the Eagles and started a run that the Redskins could not seem to recover from. Fourteen total three pointers kept the game out of reach for Social Circle, despite double-digit performances from three starting players.

Head coach Norman Jones said that, despite the loss, he felt pride for this year’s Redskins.

“One thing you have is heart,” Jones said. “Nobody can take that away from you and I tell the guys that you’ve got to leave it on the floor.”

In Jones’ first year as head coach of the Redskins, he led them to an 8-17 record and the No. 4 seed in Region 5A-Division I. Region wins came from a sweep of Prince Avenue and a home victory against Jasper County.

The loss on Wednesday ended the high school careers of seniors Ethan Brown and Justin Russell. Russell, who had 12 points in his final game, was praised by Jones for his growth as a player.

“I'm proud about 23,” Jones said. “With the new coaching change, it was very difficult buying into the culture, but he finally decided to buy in. Ever since he bought in it has been a pleasure to coach him. He’s played his butt off since the start of region play, and I'm proud and happy with how he’s ended the season.”

With the returning production of talent from players like Jameccus Hardge and Ean Mulkey, Jones will have experienced players to lead the team next season. Jones said that the road to the 2025 playoffs is going to start sooner rather than later.

“I think the first year is always the toughest,” Jones said. “Now I know how to build my house. Three to four weeks off and we’re going to start. We’re going to come back stronger next year.”