Senior Taylor Collins and junior Anna Newton scored 14 points each while senior Haley Burke added 10 to lead Bulloch Academy to its 10th straight win Friday night as the Lady Gators pummeled Curtis Baptist 54-20.
The Lady Crusaders (1-10) came out hot as sophomore Lissa Robinson drilled a three-pointer and added another basket for a 5-0 lead early in the first.
The Bulloch girls seemed to battle themselves early on as they fought for offensive rebounds and missed two, three and sometimes four shots in the paint. But the comedy of errors ended midway through the quarter as the Gator girls settled down.
Burke drove to the basket almost every time she touched the ball and was fouled. She was five-of-six from the free-throw line in the first quarter and eight-of-10 for the game. Newton got on track with three straight 10-footers from the elbow to give Bulloch an 11-5 lead at the 3:10 mark. Then it was Collins’ turn as she used her power under the basket to increase the BA lead and stifle any Curtis scoring attempts.
Bulloch’s press and tight man defense created numerous turnovers and the Lady Gators converted. Newton hit the last basket of the quarter to give Bulloch a 25-7 lead. She scored eight in the quarter, Collins netted 10 points and Burke had five.
BA head coach Paul Webb mixed and matched his players in the second quarter. Junior Lauren Dennard had a putback with 5:32 left to give Bulloch a 29-8 lead. The Lady Gators went up by 30, 40-10, when freshman Ashley Burke had a steal at half court, drove the lane and pushed in a layup with 1:24 remaining.
Webb started his reserves in the third and went deep into his bench personnel. Collins, Newton or Burke didn’t touch the floor until late in the quarter and then it was to ensure the 35-point lead for the fourth-quarter mercy rule.
Robinson and Alyssa Spurlock led Curtis with seven points each.
Bulloch hosts Frederica Academy today at 6 p.m.
Bulloch 58, Curtis Baptist 49
The going wasn’t quite as easy for the BA boys.
The Gators held a pronounced height advantage over the Crusaders, but the feisty squad from Augusta didn’t back down and wouldn’t quit.
Bulloch (6-0) wasn’t sharp out of the gate and continued to have their problems throughout the contest. Still, BA big men John Cornett and Themba Twala had their moments.
Twala, a junior, netted 14 points, speedy senior Jaylen Evans added 13 and Cornett, a senior, had 12. But the trio was overshadowed by the uncanny abilities of CB’s Micah Ryals and Ion Goder. The diminutive Crusader pair put on a show with incredible quickness, super moves and the ability to score with crazy, off-balanced shots. Bulloch and Curtis were deadlocked 13-13 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, senior Hosea Jones pushed in a layup off of a Twala pass for a 15-13 BA lead. The track meet really heated up after that. The squads raced up and down the floor at a breakneck pace. Bulloch got the best of it, taking a 21-17 lead by the 4:50 mark.
But Ryals, who had 10 on the night, had back-to-back baskets to knot the contest at 21 by the 3:36 mark. Gonder, who had a game-high 15, hit a free throw seconds later to give the Crusaders their first lead of the night. Curtis took a 26-25 advantage into the locker room.
Twala knocked down a three pointer to open the third and Bulloch pulled out to a five-point advantage. But the Crusaders came storming back to cut the lead to one, 37-36, by the 3:08 mark. Twala, Jones and fellow senior Clayton Rogers battled hard to put BA up 43-38 by the buzzer.
In the fourth, Bulloch went up by as many as eight behind Evans, who shook off his first-half difficulties to score eight points. But the Crusaders kept coming and cut the BA lead to three, 48-45 on a Brian Wilson trey midway through the quarter. Wilson had 14 on the night.
The Gators slowly inched away, outscoring CB 8-4 down the stretch for the win.
Bulloch hosts Frederica today at 7:30 p.m.