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David Emanuel sweeps Gators

David Emanuel Academy used a lightning-quick fast break to mount a late fourth-quarter surge and race past Bulloch Academy 69-59 in non-region action Saturday. In the opener, Lady Eagle senior Macy Fagler caught fire in the second half, scoring 18 of her game-high 22, to lead DEA past the Bulloch girls 56-46. In the late game, David Emanuel had four players score in double figures as the squad improved to 19-1. Dawda Njie had a game-high 19 points Logan Salter added 14, Greg Glover had 13 and Jared Flower scored 11. For Bulloch, Mark Rocker had a career-high 16 points while Jordan Walker added 13 and Will Powell had 12. The finale was nip-and-tuck the entire way as the underdog Gators (8-11) used feisty play on both ends of the court to keep the game too close to call for the better part of four quarters. The Eagles were as good as advertised and showed why they are the top team in GISA Class A basketball. At 6-8, Njie was imposing in the middle while Flower was the Eagle muscle. Still, Bulloch came out running in the opening quarter and hit their shots early. The head-swiveling action was fast and furious. David Emanuel took an 18-11 lead after the first eight minutes. Bulloch took the court in the second quarter and immediately cut the lead to three, 18-15, as the Eagles faltered just a bit. Rocker then hit a driving layup and the ensuing foul shot for an 18-18 tie with 6:16 left in the half. Both squads played great defense as the quick-handed Bulloch guards caused numerous BA turnovers and both Njie and Flower kept BA away from the lane. Son pushed in a putback with under five minutes to play to give BA a 22-20 lead and the lead see-sawed. Bulloch took a 29-26 lead with seconds left in the half but Njie’s jam cut the Gator lead to 29-28. The action got hotter and heavier in the third. Both squads flew up and down the court, trading the lead. Rocker was a man possessed, scoring 11 of his points, including three treys. The score was knotted at 45-45 by the buzzer. But Bulloch began to slip a little in the fourth as the Eagles pulled out to four-point leads midway the quarter. The hustling Gators would erase it but DEA came right back. The fast pace seemed to tell on the Gators. It was a six-point game, 55-49, with under four minutes to play when Salter banged a jumper. But it was Njie’s monster slam on a rebound at the 3:12 mark which seemed to take the wind out of Bulloch’s sails. DEA’s Byrd hit a 14-footer with 2:42 left to put the Eagles up by 10, 59-49. In the opener, both squads played uptempo ball in the first quarter as the lead changed hands numerous times. Bulloch’s Kaylee Lanier kept the Lady Gators in the game with her feisty defense and her slippery moves to the basket. She scored 10 of our team-high 12 points. Bulloch took a 16-15 lead at the end of the first eight. The lead again went back and forth in the second quarter. Both squads played tough in the paint as DEA forwards Fagler and Jessica Cook and Lady Gator counterparts Lanier and Addie Reddick beat on each other. BA’s Kacie Lanier pounded a three-pointer with under a minute and Heaven Hinton added a foul shot to give BA a 29-25 halftime lead. Both Reddick and Kacie Lanier netted 10 points each. But the second half belonged to DEA’s Fagler. Relatively quiet, scoring-wise, in the first half, the senior seemed as if she had a personal vendetta against BA. She drove the lane and played mad defense to help DEA (11-8) outscore Bulloch 14-7 and take a 39-36 advantage after three. The Lady Gators came out cold early in the quarter and this icy shooting helped allow DEA to climb into the driver’s seat. In the fourth, Bulloch tried to play too fast and turnovers mounted. Meanwhile, Fagler was getting more aggressive and she was shooting the ball with the accuracy of the famed Annie Oakley. She added 12 points in the quarter to lead DEA to the win. Both Gabrielle Story and Amanda Cardell added 10 points each for the Lady Eagles. Bulloch gets back into its region schedule next week, hosting Frederica Academy Tuesday.

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