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BA boys shuffle Columbia

Brookhaven Academy boys basketball coach Dale Watts employed a new strategy Friday night in John R. Gray Gymnasium. Watts shuffled two quintets during his team’s District 5-AA game against the Columbia Academy Cougars.

Obviously, the Lincoln County Shuffle worked wonders as the BA Cougars roared to a 78-42 triumph against the visitors from Marion County. Sophomore guard Caleb Brown led 5 players in double digits with 13 points. Zac Smith scored 11 points. Scoring 10 apiece were Matthew Evans, Gage Posey and Will Hickman.

In the varsity girls game, Columbia Academy’s quickness and defensive pressure overpowered the hosts in a 44-30 victory.

The BA Cougars (18-9, 2-0) started slow but when Watts pulled his starting quintet, the next 5 erased a 10-7 deficit at the 4:31 mark and roared to a 23-16, first-quarter lead.

That move ignited the starting 5 and they blew open the game. The hosts led 46-30 at halftime and increased the margin to 63-34 entering the final frame.

“I was looking for energy and production,” explained Watts. “We are trying to utilize a lot more players. That enables you to be more physical. We get more (points) in transition.”

Watts smiled with satisfaction. “We’ve got 12 players and all of them can play.”

On the backboards, Hickman collected 5 rebounds. Evans made 6 assists. Smith chipped in 4 assists and 3 steals.

“Coach Watts is a legend when it comes to coaching,” said Columbia coach Reid McCay. “He takes you out of what you want to do on the court.”

McCay’s team committed 23 turnovers, including 8 in the third-quarter collapse. His team (12-9, 0-2) got 9 points apiece from C.J. Martin and P.J. Hammond. On the backboards, Cody Magee had 6 rebounds and 6-foot-5 junior Logan Cooke had 5.

The BA Lady Cougars (8-16, 1-1) played hard on defense but struggled offensively. They had 12, first-half turnovers and trailed 20-15.

BA coach Bruce Allsup praised Columbia’s defense. “Their defense was tremendous. They took us out of everything we wanted to do. My girls gave a good effort and I’m proud of them.”

Seven points each by Madison Warren and Marlee Watts led BA in scoring. Five rebounds by Lindsey Winborne led BA on the backboards.

“What we do best is play defense,” said Coach McKay. “My girls have been playing high school ball since the seventh and eighth grade. They play hard.”

McKay has 3 sophomores and 3 juniors in his starting lineup.

Anna Wilks, a 5-foot-4 sophomore guard, pumped in 19 points. Jacklyn Wilks, a 5-9 sophomore post, added 16 points. Clare Herring, a 5-4 junior, grabbed 8 rebounds.

Junior High Results

In the junior high girls game, Columbia beat BA 39-14, sparked by Miranda Magee and Alex Anthony with 10 points each. Michael Riley had 9 points.

BA got 7 points from Edie Riley and 4 from Bailey Stewart.