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Bulloch boys and girls headed to region title games

    Edmund Burke Academy’s defense didn’t have an answer for center Hunter Perry Thursday night in the second round of the GISA 2-AAA region tournament, or for that matter, any other post play Bulloch Academy had to offer.  
    The Gators’ big men accounted for 22 of the team’s 46 first-half points, cruising to a 76-53 victory over the Spartans and advancing to the championship round of the region tournament.
    “We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but once we started clicking we got it going,” said Bulloch Academy boys basketball coach Chandler Dennard. “We got into a little bit of foul trouble, but once we got in rhythm we made some shots and our post players Chad (Lanier) and (Hunter) Perry had some good putbacks. Seth (Brant) did a great job. It was a total team effort.”
    Before Thursday night’s game, head coach Chandler Dennard said he felt like his team didn’t have a “traditional” starting five lineup. Dennard felt he could throw in any of his players in the rotation and they would perform well.
    That’s exactly what Dennard did to start the region tournament. Sharpshooters Jarrias Mikell and Tyler Budgett sat on the bench to open the game against Edmund Burke. Mikell scored seven points for BA while Budgett finished the night with 11. Perry finished the game with a team-high 19 points and Chad Lanier scored 14 points.
    “When you talk about a non-traditional starting five, you’re really putting together a unit that has the right mix of offense and defense in both groups. That’s what we’re doing,” Dennard said. “Tyler (Budgett) and Jarrias (Mikell) are coming off the bench and giving us instant energy. It’s tough if you’re the opposing team and three minutes into the first half you see two of our better players coming in. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails a little bit.”
    Bulloch Academy will play Frederica in Region 2-AAA championship today at 8:30 p.m.

Lady Gators roll into title game
    If there is one thing the Lady Gators of Bulloch Academy are known for, it’s their defensive intensity.
    In a 60-31 win over Trinity Christian in the 2-AAA Region tournament, the Gators’ defense was too much of a mismatch for the Crusaders to handle Thursday night.
    In the first three minutes of the game, center Mikay Sands recorded her first block. A few moments later, the Crusaders had a chance at a wide open bucket, but again Sands was there to reject the would-be made basket. t was that kind of night for Trinity.
    BA opened up an early 11-3 lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back, advancing to the next round of the region tournament.
    “I thought we played really well as a team,” said Bulloch Academy girls basketball coach Paul Webb. “Really every individual player played well.”
    The Gators had three players in double-figures. Sarah Evans led the way with a 19-point performance. Sisters Lacy Robins and Amber Robins combined for 23 points, scoring 12 and 11 respectively.            Sands finished the night with nine points and five blocked shots.
    Coach Webb said his starters played a complete effort against Trinity Thursday night. BA took out their starters towards the end of the third quarter, up 46-17.  After every game, Webb said his players grade the team on a scale of 1 to 10.
    What did the Bulloch Academy players grade their 29-point victory? A 7.5.
    “That’s pretty good,” Webb said. “We will have to play better tomorrow against Pinewood because they’re really good. You’ll have the two best teams going at it in the finals for the region championship.”
    Bulloch Academy will take on Pinewood for a shot at the Region 2-AAA title today at 7 p.m.