Bulloch Academy made the bus ride to Lyons facing Robert Toombs Christian Academy for Saturday afternoon games, and made the trip worthwhile by bringing home two in the win column.
In the first varsity match, the Lady Gators got the tip-off and never looked back as they rolled to a 44-24 victory.
Using an inside game with shots off the backboard and offensive put-backs by Taylor Collins, Anna Newton, and Haley Burke, Bulloch took an early 8-0 lead. In addition, the BA defense held fast and the Crusaders did not score until late in the first quarter when Madison McClendon hit a three-pointer with 2:20 remaining.
The teams traded possessions and shots for the remainder of the first and BA held a 13-8 lead at the buzzer.
In the second quarter BA again dominated play widening the gap to a 22-13 lead at the half. Coach Paul Webb went to his bench early with play by Marianna Peebles and Mary Margaret Reeves.
The Gator girls did not let up in the third and continued to run their inside offense. Haley Burke banked a shot off the backboard and drew a foul in the process. Making the "and-one" from the line, BA led 24-13 with 5:00 remaining. Taylor Collins went to work with back-to-back nets and the score rose to 30-17 at the 3:30 mark. The quarter ended with another Collins lay-up and free throw on the foul for a 32-21 gator lead going into the final quarter.
Anna Newton opened the fourth with a short jumper and added from the foul line to open up a 36-21 lead. Haley Burke hit the only long ball of the day and BA went up 39-21 with 4:29 left in the contest. With the game firmly under BA control, Coach Webb again went to his bench when freshman Ashley Lanier entered the game. With 3:44 remaining and a commanding 43-21 lead, the floor was filled with Bulloch underclassmen. Mary Kate Thomas, Brook Gilbert, Madison Poole, Danielle Atkinson, and Lindsey Brannen rotated in along with Lanier to finish out the contest and take away the 44-24 victory.
Bulloch had three players in double digits with Newton at 15, Burke with 11, and Collins with 10.
Bulloch Academy 65, Robert Toombs 53
The Gator boys made it a sweep with a 65-53 win over the Crusaders in the second game of the night.
Bulloch again won the tip-off but it was Robert Toombs that dominated early. As the Gator shots had trouble finding the basket, the Crusaders jumped out to a 8-0 lead. Coach Chandler Dennard used a strategy that had worked in previous games and platooned his entire squad. Walker Blitch opened the scoring for the gators with a bank shot and a Davis Howell steal and quick pass allowed Forrest Spence to make a lay-up and close the gap to 9-4 with 3:30 left in the quarter. Robert Toombs continued to succeed in scoring with shots from Caleb Burton and Justin Brinson. BA fought on when Zach Altany hit a lay-up late in the period and it ended with RTCA on top 19-8.
In the second quarter, it again was the Crusaders striking first to widen the lead 23-8. Brandon Walker got in on the action for the Gators scoring back-to-back lay-ups closing to 25-12. A Win Lee drive to the basket sent the score to 25-14 as the Gators crawled closer. Justin Brinson put Toombs up 28-14 with a bucket and a foul shot, but Forrest Spence busted a long three from the corner to put the score at 32-17 with 2:26 to go in the half. Gator scoring phenom Zach Altany hit a deep three and a short jumper to end the half trailing 32-22.
In the second half however, it was a different story. Jaylen Evans went coast to coast with rebounds and lay-ups to bring the Gators within 34-28.
Bulloch continued its rally to take the lead, but the Crusaders would not give in easily and traded scores with the Gators throughout the balance of the period, with the score reading 44-43 Robert Toombs at the sound of the buzzer.
Altany and Lee spurred the Gators back into the lead with 5:15 to finally take control for good. Two baskets from Lee put BA up 57-51 with 2:36 left on the clock and the Gators kept the pressure on, scoring with open shots and on Crusader fouls to end the game with a 65-53 final.
High scorers were Brandon Walker with 14, Zach Altany with 12, and Win Lee with 10.
Bulloch takes on region rival Pinewood Christian Academy tonight in Statesboro. It is the last home game of the season and "Senior Night."