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BA splits with Robert Toombs
Free-throw shooting key to Lady Gators' victory
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    Over a month ago, the Bulloch Academy girls suffered an embarrassing 49-23 defeat at the hands of the Robert Toombs Christian Academy Lady Crusaders.
    But the tables were turned Thursday night as the Lady Gators canned 11 of 17 free throws and played solid defense to upset Robert Toombs 36-28 in non-region action.
    In the finale, the Crusaders outscored Bulloch 14-4 in the final quarter, hitting 8 of 10 from the charity stripe, to avert an upset and nip the Gators 48-40.
    The opener was a low-scoring thriller in the final 16 minutes as the lead changed hands almost as much as the ball did before the Lady Gators took control.
    In the first quarter, Bulloch (10-9) raced up and down the floor with the bigger RTCA squad and took a 10-6 lead at the buzzer on a Kate Martin putback. BA took a 12-6 lead on Martin’s putback at the 5:10 mark of the second quarter but RTCA (12-7) went on a 5-0 run, with big girl Jenna Delk at the helm, to cut the lead to 12-11. Bulloch’s Sally Smith hit a short jumper late in the quarter to give BA a 16-13 halftime lead. Smith had seven for the Lady Gators while Martin had four.
    In the third, Delk had six of her game-high 12 to pace the Lady Crusaders to a 23-21 lead by the time the horn sounded. Still, the rotating Bulloch forwards of  Addie Reddick, Martin, Kaylee Lanier, Heaven Hinton and Kinsley Mallard did a good job of containing Delk and Kimmie Champion.
    BA knotted the contest at 23-23 early in the fourth and again at 26-26 at the 4:24 mark when Kelcie Jacobs, who had seven on the night, hit one of two from the line. Reddick gave the Lady Gators a 28-26 lead when she nailed two of her six from the free-throw line at the 3:59 mark. RTCA’s Collin Kimmons tied the score again, 28-28, but Bulloch’s Kacie Lanier nailed a three-pointer with 2:16 left to put the Lady Gators up by three, 31-28.
    In the waning minutes, Lanier hit three-of-four free throws while Reddick was two-of-two to help finish off the Lady Crusaders. Lanier, BA’s lone senior, led the home team with 11 points.
    In the boys’ game, the Gators came close to the upset.
    Bulloch (7-10) looked smooth in the opening quarter as the Gators took a 13-9 lead at the horn. Walker nailed two treys early to get the crowd into the game. He wound up with eight points.
    RTCA (14-4) had looked to be on the ropes, but led by big man Lance Stokes, the Crusaders revived and outscored the Gators 14-6 in the second to take a 23-19 lead at half. Stokes had a game-high 13 points.
    Bulloch’s Wil Hall went on a tear early in the third, netting six of his team-high 10 on finesse low-post moves. Will Powell chimed in when he got the pass on a fastbreak and gave BA a 27-26 lead at the 4:50 mark. Dartavious Brown’s steal and layup with 2:52 left capped a 7-2 run which saw the Gators up 34-28. Both Paul Son and James Conner had seven points each for the Gators.
      BA had a 36-34 lead headed into the fourth quarter. The squads battled back and forth in the final eight minutes, jockeying for the best shot. The Crusaders (14-4) turned up the tempo and took the ball to the Gators, causing fouls and putting themselves on the line.
    Robert Tommbs’ Torey Dixon knotted the game at 38-38 when he hit one-of-two shots from the line at the 5:01 mark. Up 40-38, the Crusaders patiently burned the clock, swinging the ball around before finally getting a layup with 1:40 left.
    Bulloch cut the lead to 42-40 on the next possession down the court.  But, in their haste, the young Gators made some bad passes and shots as the Crusaders scored six unanswered points for the victory.
    Bulloch travels to Waynesboro today to battle Edmund Burke Academy in a key Region 2-AA contest. The Gator guys are currently 4-0 in region play while the Gator girls are 3-1.