The Bulloch Academy boys were already locked into the No. 2 seed in next week’s region tournament, but were still able to focus and run past Trinity on senior night Friday. The Gators used a 20-4 second half run to knock off the Crusaders by a count of 51-25.
Bulloch Academy led 6-5 before going on a 12-0 run, capped by a Dra Harrison layup to take an 18-5 lead.
The Crusaders closed the gap in the second quarter, but every time they got close the Gators answered with Pierles Brown, who scored eight of his 14 points in the period. When the second quarter ended, the Gators went into halftime with a comfortable 26-14 lead.
The second half is when Bulloch Academy put things out of reach.
A layup by Brown capped an 8-0 run to start the third and gave the Gators a 34-14 lead. A Don Aaron 3-pointer extended the lead to 40-18 and Bulloch Academy had opened a 46-20 lead by the time the third quarter came to a close.
In the fourth, Sikes called off the dogs as was able to get the end of his bench some playing time. The Gator reserves weren’t much of a break for Trinity as Bulloch maintained its large lead through the final horn.
“We accomplished what we wanted to tonight,” Sikes said. “The seniors got to play a lot on senior night, and I told them I hope this isn’t their last game on this floor. If we can win 3 games in the region tournament, we will play the first round of the state here at home.”
Chad Lanier and Aaron each had eight points, while Trinity was led by David Coleman who scored eight.
Up next for the Gators is the region tournament at Edmund Burke. Bulloch Academy is the No.2 seed and will take on No.3 Pinewood, which the Gators swept in the regular season.
Lady Crusaders 50, Lady Gators 40
The Bulloch Academy girls were coming off of a great battle at Frederica before falling 41-37 Tuesday night. On Friday, the Lady Gators hung tough for three quarters with Trinity, but ended up falling 50-40 in another tough contest.
“I’m really proud of how hard we competed tonight,” said Bulloch Academy coach Hal Wilson. “The effort was there, but what we need to work on is our execution.”
The Gators (10-15, 1-7) jumped out to an early first quarter lead. Back-to-back baskets by Regan Ellis gave the Gators an 11-5 lead. A Garris Boykin layup gave Bulloch Academy a 13-7 lead, but Trinity chipped away and cut the lead to 13-12 at the end of the first.
Trinity took their first lead in the second as a Karmen Leroy bucket gave the Crusaders a 16-14 lead. Trinity would outscore Bulloch Academy 10-3 and would take a 22-16 halftime lead.
In the third the Gators got consecutive 3-pointers by Abby Newton and Kacie Ricketts to cut the lead to 26-22. A Leah Williford jumper made it a two-point game and Regan Ellis tied it at 26-26 with another bucket.
The Gators clawed ahead to a one-point lead with 2:09 left in the third on a Newton 3-pointer. But Trinity responded with four straight points and carried a 34-31 lead into the fourth quarter.
Things went downhill from there for the Gators. A Crusader jumper by Leroy capped off a 17-4 run for Trinity, extending its lead to 49-35. Bulloch couldn’t muster up another comeback and the Crusaders ran out the final minutes to claim the victory.
“Trinity is a good team,” Wilson said. “We worked all week on offense against a man-to-man defense, but that’s what gave us trouble tonight.”
The Gators were led by Ellis with 16 points and eight rebounds, Newton added 12 points - all scored from behind the arc. Lyndsey Tate had 16 points for Trinity, Leroy added 12 points on four 3-pointers.
The Bulloch girls open their region tournament at Edmund Burke next week as they take on the hosting Lady Spartans in the region play-in game at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Every coach I’ve talked to say they don’t want to play us in the tournament,” said Wilson. “We played well against almost every team in the region. We split with Edmund Burke, and I look forward to playing them next week.”