BRUNSWICK -- Chris Turner couldn’t hide it before the game. He was nervous.
The Brunswick basketball head coach sat on the end of his team’s bench moments before Wednesday’s tipoff at Brunswick Square Garden, sweat running down his cheek, patiently waiting for the start of the Pirates’ GHSA Class AAAAA quarterfinal matchup with visiting Jones County.
As time wound down in the fourth quarter, however, Turner’s demeanor had noticeably brightened. His team owning an 11-point lead with less than a minute left, Turner gave a fist pump when his Pirates thwarted a last-ditch effort by the Greyhounds by forcing a turnover.
Jabrill Heck wreaked havoc inside the paint for the Pirates to the tune of 24 points, and Brunswick eliminated Jones County 59-49, making Turner the first basketball coach of any kind to lead a Brunswick team to the semifinals.
“I had butterflies like you wouldn’t believe,” the Pirates’ head coach said. “I was more nervous than before any game I’ve ever played in in college or high school. That was a good sign. If you’re not nervous, you’re not human.”
The Pirates are moving on to Fort Valley State, site of Class AAAAA’s semifinals, and will play the winner of Thursday’s semifinal matchup in Athens between M.L. King and Cedar Shoals.
Jones County, the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AAAAA, entered the game as one of the surprise teams of the tournament after edging Harris County 75-73 and Gainesville 65-64 -- both in overtime -- in the first two rounds. Devin Wooten led the Greyhounds with 18 points, and Landrevius Bowden scored 14.