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Bulloch boys and girls roll to sweep
BA Basketball
Bulloch Academy senior guard Abby Newton hits for two of her 14 points Friday as the Lady Gators recorded a win over Coastal Home School in Bulloch's holiday tournament. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

The Bulloch Academy Gators swept their way past Coastal Home School as part of their annual Gator Classic. The boys shook off a poor shooting first half to win 55-37, while the Lady Gators won a tight one 55-50.

Bulloch Academy Lady Gator head coach Chandler Dennard has been saying he wants to play good competition, and Friday night the Gators got all they could handle from Coastal Home School, before pulling away late and holding on to win 55-50.

“They don’t hand out trophies during the regular season,” Dennard said. “We want this kind of competition. They have a 6-1 post player and a couple of girls who can light it up from long range. We don’t need to be allowing 50 points in a game, but we did enough to win.”

The Gators pulled out to a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Hurricanes battled back behind 6-1 center Elle Heidt Harris inside, and sister Melina Heidt Harris. Elle was a force inside with eight points in the second quarter, while Melina added three from behind the arc as they tied the game at 19-19. 

The Gators got their offense inside from Regan Ellis who scored 11 first half points, and the Gators led 26-22 at the half.

 In the second half the Hurricanes stored back behind the Harris sisters inside outside threat and took a 38-32 lead. The Gator then went on a 12-4 run keyed by eight straight points by Abby Newton to grab a 44-42 lead. 

“We got a spark from Abby when we got down there in the second half,” Dennard said. We need Abby to be a little less unselfish, and look for her shot more.”

Newton would score 12 of her 14 points in the second half, and a Newton layup with 3:20 gave the Gators a 52-49 lead. The Gators were able to maintain that lead and went on to win by five.

“I feel pretty good about where we are at,” Dennard said. “We have to continue to improve in many aspects of the game. We are a work in progress and want to be peaking at the end of the year.”

Ellis led the Gators with 15 points, while Newton chipped in with 14, and Leah WIlliford added 10. Coastal was paced by Ella Heldt Harris with 18 points, Kelina had 15. 

The Bulloch Academy boys struggled from the field for most of the first half, but turned things up a notch in the second half against the visiting Hurricanes from Coastal Home School. The Gators scored only 18 points in the first half, but came back to score 37 second half points in winning 55-37.

“I felt like we played well defensively in the first half,” said Bulloch Academy coach Chance Cofield. “We were a little tight in the first half offensively and a little tentative to shoot from outside. I told the kids at halftime to take those outside shots, and it freed things up in the second half.”

The Gators trailed 19-18 at the half, and their only real offense came from free throws, and seven points from senior guard Will Aaron.

In the second half the Gators were paced by Westin Boys, and Bo Spene. Spence scored all of his 12 points in the second half, while Boyd had a stretch where he scored 10 straight points for the Gators. Boyd came through with a game high 21 points with 19 coming in the second half.

“I really liked the way Weston played tonight,” said Cofield. “He gave us a real spark hitting from inside and outside. We need guys like him and Bo to come through for us in games like this when our inside game isn't working.”

Boyd led the Gators with 21 points, while Spence added 12. Next up for the Gators they will host Trinity Christian in their region opener Jan. 7.