The Bulloch Academy Lady Gators (9-12, 0-4) entered Monday night’s matchup with Brentwood in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Brentwood entered the game on a 10-game winning streak.
Monday night at Gator Alley the BA ladies turned things around, despite being short handed, and are hoping their 55-46 win over the Lady Eagles will be the start of a new positive run.
“I was really proud of how we battled, particularly since we were down a little due to illness,” said Gator coach Hal Wilson. “We haven’t closed the deal in a lot of games this year, but we did tonight and I’m proud of the effort.”
The Gators were led in different times of the game by different players.
Kacie Ricketts started things off in the first quarter scoring six points. Abby Newton carried the load in the second period, going 4-for-4 from behind the arc for 12 of her 19 points. In the third, it was Rickets again, this time with seven. Then there was more of Ricketts in the fourth, closing it out with six more to tie Newton's team-high scoring mark.
“Abby has missed a couple games with a concussion and she really carried us there in the first half,” Wilson said. “Kacie was really good in transition tonight. Everyone knows she is a good spot up shooter, but she really played well in different spots tonight.”
With the Gators clinging to a 14-13 lead after the first quarter of play, Newton caught fire, draining four straight 3-pointers and extending the Gator lead to 33-24 at halftime.
In the second half, Ricketts took over extending the lead to 10 points at 38-28 with 4:30 to play in the third.
In the fourth, Ricketts hit a couple of baskets in the paint as the Gators led by as many as 13 points. Brentwood came back to cut the lead to single digits, but the Gators went on to win by nine.
Besides Ricketts and Newton, Regan Ellis had eight points and Leah Williford had seven. Brentwood was led by Cameron Francis with 10 points.
Bulloch Academy 59, Brentwood 39
Bulloch Academy head coach Stacy Sikes got just what he had hoped for in Monday’s game with Brentwood.
He wanted his starters to help open up a big lead so he could get them some rest and play some young players, and they responded opening up an 18-8 first quarter lead and going on to win 59-39.
“We have a huge region game Tuesday night at Pinewood,” said Gator coach Stacy Sikes. “We wanted to save some legs, and the team did a good job of maintaining a good lead and we were able to get players some rest.”
The game started off with Don Aaron hitting a couple of 3-pointers to give the Gators a 10-4 lead. Pierles Brown added a couple of steals and layups to stretch that to a 14-4 Bulloch advantage.
The Gators (14-3, 3-1) extended their lead to 18-8 after the first quarter and carried that momentum into the second. A Chad Lanier layup pushed the Gators' edge to 23-8 and Bulloch Academy cruised to a 31-16 halftime lead.
It was much of the same in the second half as a Brown 3-pointer pushed the lead to 20 points at 41-21 with 3:18 left in the third. The Gators emptied their bench for most of the fourth and went on to win by 20.
“I thought Pierles and Don played really well tonight,” Sikes said. “Don has been shooting lights out lately, and I have run Pierles with the second team recently and he has really given us a great boost off the bench that we need.”
Aaron led the Gators in scoring with 14, Brown added 13 and Dra Harrison had 11 points. Brentwood’s leading scorer was C.J. Daniel with 7 points.
Both the boys and girls of Bulloch Academy are back on the floor — and back in region play — tonight as the Gators travel to Pinewood for a doubleheader. The girls will tip off at 6 p.m., with the boys' game following