Stellar second-half performances saved Bulloch Academy from a pair of Region 2-AAA upsets Tuesday night.
The Bulloch Academy boys used a quick fast break and a tough man defense to outscore Edmund Burke 13-2 in the third quarter and take a 60-37 victory. Junior Hunter Perry had a game-high 19 points while senior guard Smith Reeves added 11 and senior forward Lee Waters chipped in 10.
In the earlier game, the Lady Gators got their first taste of life without senior forward Pate Lomax and had to work hard for a 49-33 win. Senior point guard Ashley Burke shouldered the load, scoring a career-high 30 points. Lomax is out indefinitely with a broken bone in her left hand.
In the finale, the Gators (10-7 overall and 2-0 in region play) held a slim 32-28 halftime lead.
Bulloch went on an 8-0 run to open the third quarter and startle the upset-minded visitors. BA’s fast break was lethal at times with a lot of ball movement and little passing. The Gator man defense stonewalled the Spartans and BA swept the boards clean on both ends of the court.
Junior guard Lanier Olliff drained a three-pointer at the 1:10 mark for a 45-30 lead.
In the fourth, Waters was in the right place at the right time, putting back eight points with a smooth six-foot jumper. His shot with 5:52 remaining in the game gave the Gators a 51-31 lead.
But everything was so rosy earlier in the game.
EBA (6-8) ran stride for stride with the home squad early in the opening quarter. But Perry turned it on and dominated in the middle of the quarter, scoring 10 points and leading the Gators to an 11-0 run and a 19-8 lead.
BA head coach Chandler Dennard gave his bench some playing time. The Spartans rallied behind junior forward Michael Quick and closed the gap (19-15) by the buzzer. Quick had 11 points on the night.
It was nip-and-tuck in the second as both squads netted 13 points for the halftime score. Hank Nunnally popped two three-pointers and added another basket in the quarter. He had 11 for the Spartans.
Bulloch hit just 5-of-24 from the free-throw line.
Bulloch 49, EBA 33 (Girls)
The Lomax-less Lady Gators looked lost without their dominating low-post.
To make matters worse, the Lady Spartans (8-9) boasted two tall forwards, senior Amber Chambers and freshman Hannah Powell. They make it hard for Burke to drive and score. They also gave sophomore center Mikay Sands and junior forward Sarah Evans fits.
EBA’s Tinley Jenkins started the game off with a three-pointer and the battle was on. Jenkins led the visitors with 16 points.
Bulloch (17-1, 2-0) took a 13-7 led by the end of the opening quarter but looked tentative and timid in the second quarter. The majority of Burke’s shots didn’t find the twine but she still had eight points.
EBA rallied back. Junior Neely Mann hit a 12-footer at the buzzer to cut the BA lead to 21-20 at intermission.
Burke’s trey at the 6:04 mark of the third lifted BA to a 26-20 lead. EBA soon retaliated behind Jenkins and senior Amber Chambers. The Lady Spartans knotted the score at 26-all but Bulloch squeezed out to a 31-28 lead at the horn.
In the fourth, Bulloch went on a 6-0 run and went on to outscore Burke 18-5 and get the win.
Bulloch hosts region for Trinity Christian School of Dublin Friday.