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Gators berate Buccaneers
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    The much-anticipated debut of the Bulloch Academy boys’ basketball machine wasn’t without its spits and sputters.
    But once it got warmed up, Gator head coach Chandler Dennard shifted it into overdrive and put on the cruise control.
    Senior Darion Carter netted 14 points, including two rousing dunks, while classmate Jordan Walker added 11 to lead Bulloch past Briarwood Academy 65-44 Thursday night.
    In the opener, Kaylee Lanier and Heaven Hinton powered in nine points each as a balanced Lady Gator squad broke open a half-time tie to beat the Lady Bucs 43-28.
    In the boys’ game, Bulloch (1-0) outscored Briarwood 22-13 in the second quarter to break open a tight 10-10 contest. A 23-point fourth-quarter surge sealed the Bucs fate.
    A rowdy Bulloch student section, some of whom were wearing sombreros, kept the intensity up for the boys’ season opener. In the pivotal second quarter, Gator senior Will Powell drilled three three-pointers and classmate Mark Rocker added one as Bulloch crept out to a 26-19 lead by the 3:26 mark. German exchange student Arne Bencker netted six of his eight points in the quarter. Chan Newton’s 12-footer at the 2:12 mark made the lead nine, 28-19. Bulloch went into the locker room with a 32-23 advantage. Newton had six on the night while Rocker had five.
    Carter had eight of Bulloch’s 10 points  in the third. He made a three-point play at the 4:49 mark to give Bulloch a 38-28 lead. He then had back-to-back dunks to set the BA crowd on fire and put the Gators up 42-28.
    Bulloch dropped 23 points on the Bucs in the final quarter. Walker scored six of his final tally in the eight-minute span and the Gators connected on 15-of -24 free throws to pull away with the victory.
    Briarwood’s Ryan Gerlach led all scorers with 17 points, including five three-point baskets. Hughlon Mays added 13 points.
    In the girls’ game, the Lady Gators (3-0) outscored Briarwood 26-11 in the final two quarters to take the victory.
    With the game knotted at 17-17 at the half, BA head coach Paul Webb must have used the intermission to make some adjustments. The Lady Gators used some tough play in the middle and down low to overpower the Lady Bucs in the third.
    Lanier and Hinton both had four points in the quarter while Kate Anna Akins and Addie Reddick each had a bucket. On the night, Reddick had five points and Akins added four. Bulloch took a 29-22 lead by the end of the quarter.
    It was more of the same in the fourth as Hinton, Lanier and senior Abi Foy played rough and tumble. Bulloch took control of the game on both ends of the court as the Lady Gators scored 14 points to put the game away.
    In boys’ B-team action, Bulloch had three players in double figures as the Gators took an easy 62-26 win.
    Freshman Brandon Walker netted 19 points while classmates Zach Altany had 16 and Win Lee added 12.
    After a 10-10 tie in the opening quarter, Bulloch (1-0) outscored the Bucs 23-4 in the second quarter for a 33-14 halftime lead
    Bulloch Academy travels to Sandersville Saturday to face Brentwood.