Entering Friday night’s matchup with Pinewood (0-8) the Bulloch Academy (9-2) boys basketball team had only played one game since before Christmas break. Bulloch Academy head coach Stacy Sikes was concerned his team may be a little rusty, and while they had a few moments overall the Gators looked sharp in knocking off Pinewood 69-53.
“We have basically played two games in four weeks,” said Bulloch Academy coach Stacy Sikes. “We came out and looked pretty good, but hit a bad stretch before the half before really playing well in the second half.”
The game started off with the Gators looking pretty sharp. A steal and layup by Dra Harrison gave Bulloch Academy a 13-4 with 4:45 to go in the first and the Gators would take a 23-9 lead at the end of one.
In the second the Patriots made a run. A three point play by Maylon Stanfield cut the Gator lead to five at 29-24. The Gators would go on to lead 33-28 at the half.
In the third quarter the Gators would start to pull away. A steal and layup by Matt Childers extended the Bulloch lead to 41-33 with 5:08 left in the quarter. The 17-7 run would be capped off by a steal and a two handed dunk by Pierles Brown to put the Gators up 50-35.
“It’s great to have some kids who can dunk, and we encourage it,” Sikes said. “These kids are like kids at any level and they play off the crowd, so when you do that and the crowd starts cheering you can see the players feed off that.”
Dra Harrison then started to take over in the fourth scoring 10 of his game high 28 points in helping the Gators to the 16 point victory.
“They started playing us man to man and I knew they couldn’t stop Dray,” Sikes said. “Them playing man kind of played into our hands and Dra either scored,or got fouled.”
Pierles Brown had 21 for Bulloch Academy while Don Aaron added 13. Pinewood was led by Ethan Duckworth with 18 points.
Lady Patriots 54, Lady Gators 16
A totally healthy Bulloch Academy (7-7) girls team would have their hands full with the undefeated Pinewood Patriots (9-0).
The odds were stacked against the Gators even more considering two of their starters hadn’t practiced since Tuesday. So it was no surprise the Patriots ended up routing the Gators by a final of 54-16.
Leading scorer Abby Newton had been out this week with the flu while Kacie Rickets twisted her ankle in practice and had been out since Tuesday.
“Every team has something going on, so we don’t want to make any excuses,” said Gator coach Hal Wilson. “I believe in these girls, and I really thought we would perform better than we did.”
It showed from the beginning as the Gators had 13 turnovers in the first quarter and only managed 5 total shots. Despite this the Gators only trailed 12-7 after the first quarter of play.
Things started catching up to them in the second quarter as Pinewood went on a 13-2 run in the second and built a 25-9 lead.
In the second half things even got worse as the Gators were outscored 17-3 in the third quarter with Abby Newton’s three pointer being the lone Gator basket.
Pinewood would go on to outscore the Gators 12-4 in the fourth and went on for the 38 point victory.
“This is a very painful learning experience,” Wilson said. “But I know these girls and we will learn from this and come back a better team.”
Bulloch Academy was led by Kacie Rickets and Madeline Cowart who each had 4 points. Pinewood was paced by Abi Oates with 15 points.
Up next the Gators travel to St. Andrews in Savannah Saturday night.