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BA splits with Citizens Christian
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    Taking it to the hole.
    That’s what Bulloch Academy head coach Chandler Dennard wants from his players and Thursday night against Citizens Christian Academy, they delivered.
    Junior guard Will Powell had 13 points while senior forward Wil Hall added 12 to lead the Gators to a sound 58-46 thumping of the Patriots.
    In the opener, Citizens Christian used a strong second-half surge to break open a tie ballgame and take a 51-36 win over the Lady Gators.
    In the finale, Bulloch (2-2) used some physical play to achieve its ultimate goal.
    “We want to bang it in the middle,” said Dennard. “We want to work hard to get that short jumper or that layup. If we don’t get it, we want to be fouled and go to the free throw line.”
    Powell hit nine-of-11 from the charity stripe as the Gators tallied 14-of-25 from the line. Hall got the majority of his points working hard on the baseline. Senior guard Trevor Darden added seven while senior forward William Spigener chipped in six and freshman forward Paul Son also had six.
    Bulloch took an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and gradually increased it throughout the eight minutes. A tight BA man defense and aggressive play in the paint helped finance an eight-point lead midway through the quarter. Junior forward Ethan Lovett’s drive down the baseline gave BA a 20-12 advantage, but CCA (3-4) climbed back into the contest, leaving the Gators with a 25-20 halftime lead.
    Darden started off the third quarter with a three-pointer and Bulloch never looked back, increasing its lead to as many as 11. Junior guard Mark Rocker ended the quarter just as it opened, burying the long ball with three seconds left to put the Gators up 45-35.
    “The kids are starting to play hard and buying into what we are trying to do,” said Dennard. “That’s all we can ask. If they do that, good things will happen to this program.”
    CCA’s Jordan Johnson had a game-high 20 points while Spencer Hutto added 14. The duo put a scare into the Gators in the final period but the Gator defense bent but didn’t break.
    In the first game, the Lady Gators seemed overpowered from the opening tip with CCA senior Courtney Darwin and sophomore Caroline Fender defending the lane.
    The Lady Gators (3-3) took the fight to the big girls and actually won the first half, fighting to a 22-22 tie at intermission. Darwin netted 11 of her game-high 24 points.
    BA head coach Paul Webb shuttled posts in and out as Kaylee Lanier, Heaven Hinton, Abi Foy, Bonnie Hanna, Kinsley Mallard and Kate Martin sized up with the tough CCA pair.
    Kacie Lanier popped a three-pointer to open the third quarter for a 25-22 lead and things looked bright for the Lady Gators. Things looked down right rosy when Darwin drew her fourth foul and headed to the bench at the 4:21 mark and Bulloch down by just three, 28-25.
    But the Lady Patriots went from a zone defense to a tight man and put the brakes on any Lady Gator scoring threat. CCA went on a 8-2 run to take a 36-27 lead by the end of three.
    Darwin came back in the fourth and added eight more, but more importantly, made her presence known with strong rebounding and good defense.
    The Bulloch Academy squads travel to Lyons today to face Robert Toombs Christian Academy.