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BA girls going strong
Bulloch Academy coach Paul Webb, center, talks to his team before a January 3 game against Pinewood. - photo by BRYAN BURKE/Special to the Herald


For the Bulloch Academy girls, the sky is the limit.

With a few memorable seasons already on their resume, the veteran Lady Gators have already accomplished plenty on the basketball court. This season has seen Bulloch rack up wins at an alarming rate and — as the region and state tournaments creep closer — there is plenty of reason to believe that the Gators will have a say in who climbs the mountain to a state championship.

Bulloch began its season in November by winning its own tournament and has hardly hit a bump in the road since then. The Gators are currently 17-3 on the season with just six games remaining before the Region 4-AAA tournament decides which teams will move on to state.

"This is a very talented group of girls," said BA coach Paul Webb. "We’ve got a lot of girls who have been successful in the past. I’ve been pleased with all of their hard work and improvement going through this season and now we’re in a position to have some more success."

As the games take on more meaning, it is unlikely that the Gators will be fazed. All but one team member returned from last season’s squad and many of Bulloch’s current starters had roles in the Gators’ run to the state title game two seasons ago.

"I think we all know what kind of pressure there is and we all know how to deal with it," said senior forward Taylor Collins, who has started all four years. "We’ve hit our stride this season and know what it takes to win. I want to win a little more this season since it’s my last year, but other than that, we’re all having a lot of fun."

The Lady Gators have reached the state playoffs in five of their last seven seasons, but this year’s team – while not yet qualified for the postseason — is outperforming all of its predecessors. With 17 wins already, Bulloch is just two wins away from its win total in each of the last two seasons and just five victories shy of the school record for wins in a season.

Still, there is a lot of work left to be done.

The Gators have dominated non-region competition, but are just 3-2 against Region 4-AAA which is loaded with many of the state’s top squads.

"This is one of the toughest regions I’ve ever had to coach in," said Webb. "We’ve dropped a couple of games, but the good thing is that other teams have too."

In fact, no team in 4-AAA has recorded an away victory in region play so far.

"We need to get as many road wins as we can," said senior Haley Burke. "It’s always tougher to win away from home, but if we can get a few of those wins and then play well at home, we should be in good shape."

Bulloch hosts Edmund Burke tonight at 6:30 p.m., and two of its final six games feature Westminster and Augusta Prep — authors of BA's two region losses.

As the season drags on and teams start to tire, another Bulloch senior is hoping to make her comeback and add some fresh legs.

Amelia Akins suffered a dislocated kneecap in December and has been forced into cheerleading duties throughout region play, but is slated to return soon to help her team.

"It’s been tough," said Akins of missing time. "I can’t wait to get back. I might have to catch up a little with conditioning, but I know that I can help us out."

The Gators will need all of the help they can get. If the first two months of the season are any indication of things to come, Bulloch Academy is in for a long ride that will include more than a few games after the regular season concludes.


Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.