There are times, like late in the game this past Friday, when Grovetown High School girls basketball coach Jamie Echols can remain in his seat and watch the action unfold on the court.
Senior Chade' Martin usually keeps the situation under control. She managed Friday's game at home against Richmond Academy, helping the Warriors hold on for a 43-36 victory.
"She really takes over that game," Echols said. "I trust her judgment on the court and the players do. That's senior leadership."
Martin scored a game-high 22 points. Bianca Stewart and Tye Sewell added 8 points apiece for Grovetown.
The Warriors improved to 7-6 in Region 3-AAAA with a victory over Evans on Saturday. Grovetown beat Richmond for the second time, and for the second time had to hold off the Musketeers as a large lead crumbled.
On Friday, the Warriors' lead reached 14 at the start of the fourth quarter. Richmond's press created opportunities for the Musketeers, who slowly climbed back. Grovetown's lead was only five with a minute left.
At Richmond in December, the Warriors led by 18 but won by five.
"They chipped away with it," Echols said. "We made mistakes on their press and boom, they're right back in the game."
The Warriors were able to hold on by attacking the basket and making layups or earning trips to the free-throw line. Martin led the attack. But Echols said he had been pleased with the play of sophomore Tye Sewell.
Earlier in the season, Echols had told his small guard to play more aggressively. The next game, she fouled out.
Echols has seen the aggression when his team has played well this season. When they don't, it's usually because they are timid, Echols said.
"No offense to our players, but I don't know how great of a shooting team we are," he said. "So we're going to have to attack the basket."
The victory gave the Warriors a regular-season sweep of the Musketeers.
The Warriors' first victory against Richmond, Echols' former employer, was also the first in Grovetown history. Echols served in various coaching roles at Richmond Academy and served as its athletic director before joining Grovetown when it opened.
"It's good to beat them," Echols said. "It's more important to beat them because it's a sixth region win."
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