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Bulloch Academy cruises in first game of 'Lady Gator Classic'
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Bulloch Academys Jr. Forward Pate Lomax (23) scores two over David Emanuel Academys Jessica Brett during the first quarter of the Lady Gators' win Tuesday night in Statesboro. - photo by BRYAN BURKE/Special

    The Bulloch Academy Lady Gators scored 31 points in the first quarter and coasted to a 50-29 victory over David Emanuel Academy in the opening day of the eighth annual Lady Gator Classic pre-season basketball tournament Tuesday.
    “The girls really did a good job in the first quarter,” said BA head coach Paul Webb. “They were really focused.”
    In the first eight minutes, senior Danielle Atkinson popped off 10 points, including two three-pointers, and junior Ashley Burke scored eight of her game-high 13.
    In other action, Trinity Christian School of Dublin pounded Hilton Head Christian Academy 52-30 behind a 26-point performance from junior Sydney Bozeman. Crisp Academy, the GISA defending Class A state champions, outlasted Pinewood Christian Academy 43-26. PCA senior Jessie Knauss reached a milestone by scoring her 1,000th point of her career.
    In Bulloch’s game, the Lady Gators dropped the hammer on the Lady Eagles from the opening tip. They raced out to a 17-0 lead with three minutes left in the quarter.
    Bulloch’s starting five of Atkinson, Burke, juniors Pate Lomax and Page Spence and senior Chelsea Oglesby excelled on both ends of the court. Oglesby was a force in the paint, blocking several shots and intercepting passes.
BA’s defense was quick and effective, using a smothering back-court press to cause turnovers and chaos. On offense, Burke’s ball-handling skills and Bulloch’s fast-paced and opportunistic offense set the tone.
    “I thought Chelsea played on of her best games of the season,” said Webb. “Ashley has a lot of confidence handling the ball. She looked very good. She has also developed a jump shot which helps her.”
    Bulloch (3-0) took a 31-3 lead at the buzzer. Sophomore Sarah Evans added eight points on the night, Lomax had six and Oglesby added five.
    Webb substituted freely for the remainder of the game as the Lady Gators (3-0) got a lot of playing time from freshmen and even eighth graders.
    “The younger kids saw a lot of action,” said Webb. “In a couple of years, they will be the sixth, seventh and eighth players coming off the bench.”
     The action continues today as Frederica Academy of St. Simons Island tries to stop Madi Mitchell and the Crisp Lady Wildcats at 4:30 p.m. Bulloch takes on Hilton Head Christian at 6 p.m. and Brentwood from Sandersville squares off against Augusta Preparatory School at 7:30 p.m.