The Bulloch Academy boys had only tasted defeat on two occasions this year. One of those losses was by two points and the other was a season opening defeat to Savannah Christian, a GHSA school. Neither were as bad as Friday’s 67-41 region loss to Frederica.
“We got behind and got our heads down, which I’m not happy with at all,” said Bulloch Academy coach Stacy Sikes. “We didn’t play as hard as we normally do, and this was just their night.”
On paper, the game looked to be a close one with Frederica (8-4, 2-0) and Bulloch Academy (11-3, 2-1) battling it out for first place in the region.
The game started off close with the lead changing often in the first quarter. A Jaylin Simpson 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Fredrica an 18-13 lead after one quarter of play.
In the second, the Knights started to pull away behind the three point shooting of Simpson (27 points), Harry Veal (17 points) and Jack O’Hara (15 points). Pierles Price’s lone basket of the game came on a 3-pointer to stop the bleeding, but the Gators trailed 41-27 at the half.
“We knew they could shoot, but not like that,” Sikes said. “I think they may have missed one or two three pointers the entire first half. We weren’t playing as hard as I would have liked, but they weren’t missing.”
The Knights put things away in the third quarter as they outscored the Gators 17-7 to take a 58-34 lead. They would go on to outscore the Gators 11-7 in the fourth, and ended up winning by 28 points.
“Frederica is well coached, and are a good team,” Sikes said. “I hope we learned a valuable lesson, and won’t have another effort like the one out here tonight.”
Dra Harrison led the way for BA with 22 points.
Lady Knights 43, Lady Gators 34
The Bulloch Academy girls came out on the floor wearing fluorescent warm ups to honor the fight assistant coach Beth Sands has had with a brain tumor. The Gator players fought hard too, but it wasn’t quite enough as they fell to Frederica 43-34.
“I’m incredibly proud of our effort tonight,” said Gator coach Hal Wilson. “We tried to honor coach Sands with our clothes and our effort, and I think we definitely did that tonight.”
The Gators (8-10, 0-3) came out strong, taking an early 7-6 lead on a Regan Ellis layup. Frederica came back to take the lead, but an Abby Newton 3-pointer cut the lead to 11-10. Kacie Ricketts added a 3 at the buzzer, tying the game at the end of the first.
The Knights stormed back in the second, going on an 11-0 run. The Gators finally scored on a layup by Ellis, but that was their lone basket of the quarter as the Knights outscored them 17-2 and the Gators trailed 30-15 at halftime.
Showing no quit, the Gators got back-to-back baskets by Newton and Ricketts to start the third. A Ricketts 3-pointer cut the lead to single digits at 34-25.
“I was really proud of the way we clawed back into the game,” Wilson said. “A couple of free throws fall, a couple three’s fall and we are right in the ballgame. It is definitely something we can build on.”
Bulloch Academy was led by Newton with 13 points and Ricketts scored another 10. Fredrica was led by Jalaya Lewis’ 16 points, with Jadyn Scott contributing 10 more to the winning cause.
Both Gator squads will try to get back into the win column on Tuesday as the boys and girls teams travel to Trinity in Dublin.