Gray Collegiate bounced back from its first loss in a big way. The Eagles used a big second quarter to beat Lower Richland 77-65 Thursday in the first day of the Bojangles’ Bash at Ridge View High School.
The win completes the season sweep for the Eagles over the Diamond Hornets. Gray Collegiate beat Lower Richland 79-72 last month in the LR Thanksgiving tournament.
“We knew we had to come back strong because we took a hard ‘L’ the last game,” freshman forward Juwan Gary said. “We shouldn’t have lost that game and we had to come back strong and show the hometown fans what they want to see.”
The Eagles, who lost 63-61 to Northwestern on Tuesday, struggled in the opening quarter – leading 13-12. But GCA used its defensive pressure and outscored LR 30-14 in the second quarter to take control by the break, shooting 55 percent from the field in the second quarter.
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GCA’s lead grew to as many as 27 points before a late Diamond Hornets’ run in the fourth.
“Tuesday’s loss was tough for us but it happens,” GCA coach Dion Bethea said. “It all depends on how we responded, and we responded well. We just got to remember to close out the game.”
Gary, a freshman, came off the bench to lead five Eagles in double figures with 20 points. The 6-foot-5 forward scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half as GC’s bench outscored L-R’s reserves 30-6.
Bethea has been pleased with his highly-touted freshman’s role and in fitting in with his six seniors in the rotation. Gary said playing with a veteran group has helped him develop.
“We keep working with him in practice and all season and I think the sky is going to be the limit for him,” Bethea said.
Ian Kinard added 16 for GCA, and Xavier Miller and Khalil Robinson had 13.
Ja’Cor Nelson led Lower Richland with 20 points, and Clyde Trapp added 18.
LR: Kelvin Washington 10, Ja’Cor Nelson 20, Nuttry 9, Townsend 2, Clyde Trapp 18, Harris 2, Higgins 2, Thompson 2. GC: Ian Kinard 16, Xavier Miller 13, Khalil Robinson 13, Bethea 5, Tyler Brevard 10, Juwan Gary 20.
RECORDS: LR 2-5; GC 6-1
22 Feet Academy 69, Keenan 42
22FT: Darius Hicks 21, Keita 4, Jordan Bowden 11, Moss Jr. 7, Eli Wright 11, Powell 1, Hunter 1, Loef 3, Justin Miller 11. K: Jones 2, Johnson 4, Tariq Simmons 19, Poole 6, Sanders 5, Johnson 4, Haney 2.
RECORDS: K 1-3, 22FT 8-4
Zion Lutheran (Fla.) 55, Pinewood Prep 51
ZL: Gifford 7, Abaev 6, Brandon Bornelus 18, Edwin Louis 11, Baldassi 6, Mulder 3, Jerome 4. PP: Jalen Slawson 10, Michael Wright 10, Tyler Garvin 11, Brandon Miller 15, Knight 5.
RECORDS: ZL 6-2; PP 5-3
Bojangles’ Bash Schedule
Northwestern vs. Zion Lutheran (Fla.), 5:30 p.m.
Spring Valley vs. Miami Country Day (Fla.), 6:45 p.m.
Dreher vs. Hammond, 8 p.m.
Trinity Christian vs. Ridge View, 9:15 p.m.
Westwood vs. Dreher, 12:30 p.m.
Dutch Fork vs. Miami Country Day, 2 p.m.
Gray Collegiate vs. Zion Lutheran (Fla), 3:30 p.m.
Trinity Christian (NC) vs. Spring Valley, 5 p.m.
Miami Country Day at Ridge View, 6:30 p.m.
Hammond vs. A.C. Flora, 8 p.m.