2019-01-09 / Sports

EBA basketball opens 2019 with multiple wins

DIANA ROYAL

The Spartans and Lady Spartans of Edmund Burke Academy kicked off 2019 with wins for both of the varsity teams.

EBA traveled to Athens on Friday, where they faced Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School (MDCHS). The boys finished with a 58-55 win while the girls picked up a 58-35 victory.

The Spartans head coach Evan Butcher said the boys are playing well as a unit. “Each guy that goes on that court is showing the qualities of being a reliable teammate,” he said, adding that they’re also doing a good job at getting to the freethrow line. “We need to start making those free throws, play defense with our feet and not our hands and learn how to start the game off not being flat.”

In Friday’s game, they improved in many of those areas, and fought back from a 16-point deficit, thanks to a 10-point spree from senior Collier Smith in the second half that sparked the comeback. A game winning 3-point buzzer beater from junior Jeremy Gay sealed the deal, and the Spartans scooped up the region win, bringing their region record to 2-0 and overall record to 7-4.

Smith led the Spartans with a total of 17 points, followed by junior Tripp Parker who had 13. Senior Jaylon Glisson contributed 12 points and Gay had a total of 9.

The Spartans went 16/26 from the foul line.

The girls (9-2, 1-1) started off their match against MDCHS a bit sluggish, with head coach Larry Keller contributing that to spacing issues on offense. They made some corrections at the half and then went on a 20-point unanswered run from the 5:44 mark to the 1:45 minute mark in the third quarter. After the dust cleared, the Lady Spartans were on top 44-20 and never looked back.

Eleven different players scored during the game’s duration, with junior Claudia Post taking the lead with 14 points. Sophomore Malana Williams had 7, and seniors Marley Knight and Sally Kate Blackburn each chipped in 6.

“The only person who didn’t score was Baylor Redd, and she probably played as good a floor game as anyone,” Keller said.

As 2019 begins, the Lady Spartans get into the teeth of their region schedule, which culminates in the region tournament the first week of February. “We should be competitive in the region,” Keller said. “Somebody always gets hot, and that’s the beauty of basketball – it only takes one week to turn your year around.”

EBA played local Faith Christian Academy on Monday, Jan. 7, and hosted Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday, Jan. 8, but results were not available at press time. Next, they’ll face two teams on the road: Gatewood on Friday, Jan. 11, and David Emanuel on Monday, Jan. 14. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, they’ll play host to Augusta Prep. The varsity girls will kick off each night of play beginning at 6 p.m.

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