The Bulloch Academy boys scored early and often Thursday night as they pounded David Emanuel Academy 61-35.
Zach Altany netted 23 points as run-and-gun Bulloch simply overpowered the Eagles. The senior nailed three treys in the first quarter and scored 19 of his points in the first half.
Bulloch (8-3) roared off to a 13-5 lead by the 4:33 mark of the opening eight minutes. While Altany was the main scoring threat, senior guard Win Lee paced the offense with his unselfish and heads-up play on offense and lock-down defense. BA head coach Chandler Dennard began to substitute freely from that point on.
“It’s good to get everyone in and give them some quality playing time,” said Dennard. “An experienced bench will help out down the road.”
The second squad extended the lead to 22-9 by the end of the period and got plenty of work in the second quarter, extending the lead to 31-18 by halftime.
In the third, Dennard mixed and matched his players as BA outscored DEA (4-6) 19-6. Senior Walker Blitch drilled three long balls for his nine points and senior Brandon Walker added three short jumpers for his six. It was Blitch’s trey at the 3:10 mark which put the Gators up by 20, 44-24.
Early in the fourth, sophomore Ross Rainey notched a three-pointer which put the Gators up by over 30. Dennard went deeper in his bench to finish out the night.
Leading scorers for DEA were Trey Carter with nine and Hayward Johnson with six.
The Gators host Region 4-AAA foe Trinity Christian School Saturday.
Bulloch 34, David Emanuel 27
Almost all of the members of the Lady Gator basketball team have been fighting some form of illness during the first week of the new year.
But Thursday night they were also fighting the inside presence of DEA’s Jerica Burnett.
Burnett was an aggressive force to be reckoned with for three quarters as she helped the Lady Eagles scratch out a 24-24 tie early in the fourth quarter.
But two quick fouls by the 6:19 mark of the fourth sent her to the bench, allowing Bulloch to ease past the scrappy Lady Eagles for the win.
But it wasn’t pretty.
Bulloch (12-2) hit just 9-of-22 shots from the charity stripe for the night. The Lady Gators’ shooting percentage from the field probably wasn’t much better.
BA junior Taylor Collins, who squared off with Burnett most of the night, led the Lady Gators with 13 points while classmate Haley Burke added seven.
The game was fast-paced and up-tempo in the opening quarter but neither team could find the basket. Bulloch was 1-for-6 from the line early and attempts from the field missed badly. DEA (7-6) took a 9-5 lead by the end of the first eight minutes.
A Collins put back with 3:58 remaining in the second gave Bulloch its first lead of the night, a slim 10-9 advantage. But the Lady Gators got back on track, going on an 8-1 run in the final minutes for an 18-10 halftime lead.
In the third, Burnett scored five unanswered points to trim the BA lead to 18-15. An Amy Well three-ball knotted the game at 18 with 3:58 left. BA mental and physical miscues didn’t help matters either. Still, the Lady Gators clung to a 24-22 lead by the buzzer.
With the score knotted at 24 early in the fourth, Burnett and Collins were hits with double fouls for aggressive play in the middle. Seconds later, Burnett collected her fifth and was done for the game. She had seven points.
DEA’s Jessica Wimberly, who also had seven, tied the score at 27-27 with a driving layup at the 2:55 mark. But the Lady Gators held firm and scored seven unanswered points down the stretch for the win.
Bulloch hosts Region 4-AAA foe Trinity Christian School Saturday.
In earlier games, the BA B-team girls whipped David Emanuel 43-25. Freshman Ashlee Lanier scored a career-high 12 points while eighth grader Ashley Burke added eight. For DEA, Kristan Rigdon and Margaret Ann Garrett had eight each.
In C-team boys’ action, the Eagles downed the Gators 25-19. Nathan Greene and Zach Hooks scored 10 each for DEA while Griffin Walker led Bulloch with seven.