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Regents girls basketball finishes fourth in MAIS playoffs

The Regents Lady Lions basketball season came to a close this past weekend, finishing in fourth place in their inaugural season of MAIS play.

Losing 50-31 to future champion Briarfield Academy in the semifinals on Friday, the girls lost a tight 45-42 game to Wilkinson County Christian on Saturday in the third-place game.

Against Briarfield, Regents’ leading scorer, Mariah Reed-Jones, picked up four fouls in the first half. The team only trailed by six at the half, but a more veteran team wore on them down the stretch.

“Their depth and their experience really wore on us,” head coach Hunter Seabrook said. “They just wore us down and we were in a lot of foul trouble. They had a bunch of seniors, and we were playing some middle school girls.” 

Ultimately, losing the final two games of the season is hardly a sore spot for this team.

Playing in their first-ever MAIS season, the girls’ run all the way to the state semifinals was impressive. It’s something their coach wanted to remind them in defeat.

“When we lost that third place game, I didn’t even bring up the game. It was a time to celebrate what we did and how hard they worked,” Seabrook said. “But everybody’s coming back, so we’ve got great position to come back next year.”

In total, three Lady Lions – freshman Reed-Jones and sophomores Jamaya Fondren and Natalie Prather – were all named to the All-District team representing Regents. Reed-Jones, individually, averaged over 25 points per game for the team.

But this team, the one that made the run all the way to the MAIS semifinals, will return every single girl from this season to the next. Not one player on the team was a senior.

“I’ve never, ever had a team like this,” Seabrook said. “Other coaches would come up to me and say, ‘Your day is coming,’ because they’d announce the lineup and it would be eighth grade, ninth grade. I’ve never had a team this young; it’s kind of unbelievable.”

That young team will all be back, something their coaching staff pressed on them to take in. His message? This experience from this year will only help them moving forward.