Oh what a difference a year makes.
Last season — despite capturing the region title — the Bulloch Academy boys lost to Westminster twice, by a total of 56 points. Tuesday night it was the Gators dishing out the spanking as they knocked off the Wildcats 57-41.
“We used that for motivation,” said coach Stacy Sikes, “Last night after we won the game I put 56 up on the board, and the players understood what that meant.”
The Gators held the lead for almost the entire first half, but the Wildcats never went away. Pierles Brown (16 points) helped light a spark after a Don Aaron steal and outlet pass, Brown threw down a vicious one handed dunk for a 10-6 Gator lead.
Ahmad Hunt nearly singlehandedly kept the WIldcats in the game as he scored 17 points in the first half including five three pointers. The Gators answered with a heavy dose of Dra Harrison, who had eight points in the first half, and finished with a game high 22 points.
“Dra is doing a great job with his mid-range jumper,” said Sikes, “When that’s going it opens things up for everyone else. He is also hitting for a high percentage from that distance which helps with our consistency.”
After opening up a 34-29 halftime lead, the Gators turned up the defensive pressure allowing Westminster only two points the entire third quarter and going on to outscore them 23-12 in the second half.
“They’re learning my system and I’m learning the personnel I have and what they do well,” said Sikes, “It’s taken a while but we are starting to gell.”
With the win, the Gators improved to 4-1 on the season.
The Bulloch Academy girls came into Tuesday’s game with Westminster with an impressive 4-1 record, on the heels of a 59-30 thrashing of Thomas Jefferson. Tuesday things changed quickly, as they were on the receiving end of a 64-34 blowout.
“It was a great wake up call for us,” said coach Hal Wilson, “We’d rather this happen early in the season so we can learn from it. There are some corrections that need to be made and that came to light tonight.”
The Gators found themselves in a 25-8 hole after the first quarter, but fought back behind a couple Kacie Ricketts three pointers and solid play from Madeline Cowart to cut the lead to 31-24 at the half.
The trouble came in the third quarter as the Gators lone basket came from JB Marsh, and they were outscored 16-2. The Wildcats then went on to cruise to the 30 point victory.
“They really exposed us with some tough man to man pressure,” said Wilson, “We have some really good outside shooters, and will have to work harder in case other teams try the same thing.”
The Lady Gators were led by Ricketts with 11 points, Abby Newton added 10 points. The Wildcats were led by Bobbi Wardwell with 16.
Up next for Bulloch Academy is a Friday home doubleheader against Valwood. The girls are set to tip off at 6 p.m. with the boys game following.