The Beaufort Academy and John Paul II boys basketball teams traded haymakers for three quarters Tuesday, but the Eagles’ edge in the paint and on the boards helped them remain standing at the end of a slugfest and escape with a 68-63 road win in a key SCISA Region 4 matchup.
Sully Gay poured in 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and dished out four assists, and freshman big man Amarion Wilson added 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting and six rebounds as the Eagles flexed their muscle inside to outlast the Golden Warriors.
Gay got hot early, scoring 14 points in the first quarter as BA ran out to a 12-point lead after one period, but JPII settled in and got some stops on defense, using long rebounds and takeaways to produce layups at the other end with a swift transition offense. JPII’s Mark Knight and Jackson Ogden flourished in the second quarter, and Austin Floyd splashed a 3-pointer and knocked down another bucket as the Golden Warriors pulled even at 31 at halftime.
It was still tied after a back-and-forth third quarter and was knotted at 52 when Zeke Gonzalez hit a three from the left wing to put BA ahead for good. Gonzalez scored again on the next possession to extend the lead to five, and Gay scored two buckets on one trip after the Eagles tracked down his missed and-1 attempt to bump the lead to nine with five minutes left.
Knight hit a triple at the other end to give the Golden Warriors hope, but they didn’t get closer than six the rest of the way.
“Credit to BA, they were the more physical team. They wore us down and capitalized on their inside game.”
Gay and Wilson did most of the damage on the scoreboard, but Gonzalez gave the Eagles a spark all night with six points, seven assists, and five deflections.
“Scrappy Gonzales does such a great job at the point guard position,” BA coach Nick Field said.
“He makes the game easier for the other four guys and puts them in positions to score.”
Knight led JPII with 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Finn Mahoney added 13 points and nine boards, and Jackson Ogden had 12 points and four assists.
BA (24-5, 3-1) hosts Thomas Heyward and JPII (6-3, 2-1) travels to Bethesda Academy in a pair of region matchups Thursday.
By Justin Jarrett
Some local sports content that is not sponsored is now available only to LowcoSports.com’s Patreon supporters. Pledge your monthly support here for as little as $1 per month to ensure you have access to all of our grassroots LOCAL sports coverage!