Bulloch Academy’s starting five were poetry in motion Thursday night against Augusta Prep in the third and final day of the ninth annual Lady Gator Classic preseason basketball tournament.
Senior guard Ashley Burke scored 19 points, senior forward Pate Lomax netted 18 and sophomore forward Mikay Sands added 17 as the Lady Gators whipped the Lady Cavaliers 68-43 in the night’s finale.
In earlier action, Trinity Christian School was able to put down the aggressive Crisp Academy Lady Wildcats 54-42 and Westminster of Augusta pounded Frederica Academy 44-26.
In late game, the Lady Gators (4-0) had some rusty minutes in the opening quarter. Augusta Prep (2-3) took the fight to the GISA Class AAA defending state champions and both squads ran the floor without being able to put the ball through the net.
But Sands pushed in a layup at the 5:24 mark for the opening points of the night as the BA girls found their rhythm. Bulloch took a 15-6 lead by the buzzer.
The Lady Gators really got their act in gear in the second, outscoring APS 16-6 by the 3:09 mark. Burke ran the floor with ease and unselfishly dished to teammates for the high-percentage basket. At times, she would drive hard and fast to the hoop and take the shot herself.
Lomax and Sands were the power in the middle. The senior also backed out of the box, connecting with her short jumper off the glass. The sophomore posted up well for the short buckets. Both kept the Lady Cavs from the lane. The BA press defense came into play in the second, turning steals into points.
BA head coach Paul Webb substituted freely and Bulloch headed into the locker room with a 35-17 lead.
Senior guard Page Spence pounded a three-ball at the 6:38 mark of the third for a 40-19 lead and the Lady Gators were off and running again. Bulloch held the double-digit lead with the second teamers, taking a 54-33 at the horn.
In the fourth, the starters went on a 10-0 run and took a 64-33 lead on Burke’s coast-to-coast layup after a steal with 5:47 remaining.
The opener was a seesaw battle.
Crisp took a 13-10 lead after the opening quarter but TCS’s tower, Sydney Bozeman, turned up the defense in the middle. The Lady Crusaders rallied in the second quarter to take a 22-21 lead at intermission. In the third, TCS went up by six, 37-31, by the buzzer. The Lady Wildcats tried to comeback but Bozeman and her teammates were too strong. Bozeman had a game-high 24 points while Elizabeth Heard added 11. For Crisp, Parker Krause had 16, Claire McGarr had nine and Mary Margaret McGarr added eight.
The Lady Wildcats of Westminster never trailed in the second game, taking a 19-5 lead after the opening quarter and a 28-12 halftime lead. But Frederica did rally in the second half, cutting the lead to 10 at one point in the third. Abbey Robertson led Westminster with 17 points and Zakira Goldsberry added 10. For Frederica, Morgan Sullivan and Simms O’Quinn had nine each.