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Gator boys rule Region 2-AAA
BA web
Bulloch Academy's Hunter Perry, top, scores with authority against Frederica during the third quarter of Friday's Region 2-AAA championship game. Bulloch Academy won, 66-54.

    In the 2015-2016 regular-season finale between Bulloch Academy and Frederica Academy, the Gators overwhelmed the Knights with a commanding performance from their post players in the first half.
    Friday night with a Region 2-AAA championship on the line, it was the Gators’ outside shooters that gave BA a push in the right direction in the first half for a 66-54 win.
    Not only does the victory over Frederica give Bulloch Academy a chance to host a home game in the GISA state playoffs, but the win also gives the Gators their third region championship in four years.
    “That’s three out of four. We play really great together and we were knocking down shots. I can’t say much more. It feels good,” said senior Hunter Perry, smiling after the Gators’ win. Perry finished the game with 13 points.
    Freshman Don Aaron and Tyler Budgett gave the Gators a spark from beyond the arc. Aaron knocked down two three-point shots early in the game and Budgett scored a team-high 21 points. Aaron finished the game with 11 points.
    “We look inside out and we run the floor a lot. There’s a lot of one-on-one matchups. They dump it into me and I can kick it out,” Perry said. “We have shooters all over the place. We changed it up about half-way through the season and I think it’s really working well for us. It should take us far.”
    Perry had arguable the most emphatic play of the game midway through the third quarter. On a fast break the senior center threw down a two-handed slam dunk that got the home crowd out of their seat and gave the Gators a 43-28 lead.
    However, the dunk may have been a turning point for Frederica, said Bulloch Academy boys basketball coach Chandler Dennard.
    “Hunter had a big dunk and everybody got into it, but we kind of checked out mentally. Everybody thought we had this thing in the bag and we had to regain our composure after that,” Dennard said. “It was a struggle from that point on.”
    After the dunk, Frederica would climb back into the game, ending the third quarter on a 7-2 run.
“The crowd got into it and the crowd is a big part of the game. They are a big factor,” Perry said.  “The crowd went crazy, but we kind of checked out of the game. We really had to get back into it.”
    Bulloch Academy’s defense was relentless, however. The Gators gave up just seven points in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.
    “We’ve been playing really well defensively in the past few weeks. They hit a couple threes down the stretch and we were just trying to make them work,” Dennard said. “The defense has been playing well. We gave up 17 points the first quarter and just seven points in the second quarter. That’s the way we’ve been winning. Hopefully, we will have a chance to do some damage in the state tournament.”
    Free throws from Jarrias Mikell and Perry helped ice the game late and put the Knights away for good.
    Bulloch Academy will host Gatewood in the first round of the GISA state playoffs Wednesday. A time has yet to be determined.