Griswold takes a leadership role

MILLEDGEVILLE — Teshia Griswold really could only sit and watch.

The Baldwin senior was relegated to a spectator for much of the Bravettes’ 27-point Final Four loss to Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe at the Macon Coliseum.

The Bravettes’ top player suffered a back injury in a quarterfinals win over Peach County, and she underwent treatment heading into the game against LFO. Baldwin head coach Jenean Cooper-Bolston said she was concerned about Griswold’s injury and limited her star player’s minutes in the game. Griswold said she felt fine and could have played.

But even if it was her pride talking, Griswold at full strength would have given the Bravettes a huge boost.

“I think I play great in front of big crowds, and I think I really could have helped us win,” said Griswold. the Telegraph’s GHSA girls basketball player of the year. “But I’m not looking back with disappointment. We had a great season.”

Much of Baldwin’s success this past season can be tied to Griswold.

The senior stepped up her game after the Bravettes lost last year’s All-Middle Georgia player of the year, Jalissa Dawson, to graduation.

Already the team’s leading scorer, Griswold upped her scoring average to 21.1 points per game to go with 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals. She became the vocal leader in the team’s defense-first system, helping the team buy into a defense-creates-offense mentality preached by its first-year head coach.

Baldwin went 28-3, won the GHSA Region 3-AAA regular season and tournament championships and spent the latter part of the season — including entering the playoffs — ranked No. 1.

“We accomplished so much this season, that I don’t have any regrets,” said Griswold, who was named to the media and coaches all-state teams. “It didn’t end the way we wanted, and I know I could have made a difference. But I don’t think much about it anymore.”

Griswold isn’t sure of her immediate future. She wants to play college ball and said she is waiting on an offer.

“I’ll play for anyone who wants to give me an education,” she said.