Boyd-Buchanan clinched the top spot in this weekend’s District 5-A Tournament with Tuesday evening’s lopsided win over Grace Baptist in its regular-season finale.
But while the Buccaneers ultimately rolled to a 68-42 victory, they were in a back-and-forth battle at the break, clinging to a one-point edge over the visiting Golden Eagles.
“I thought we did a good job coming back in the second half,” Boyd head coach Cole Rose said. “We looked a whole lot more like ourselves in the second half.”
The game started to turn just before the intermission, though.
Boyd-Buchanan (21-7, 7-1 District 5-A), which trailed for much of the first two quarters, took its first lead since the game’s opening minutes on a jumper from sophomore QD Cox, and just seconds later, the 6-foot forward buried another.
The Buccaneers never trailed again.
They opened the third quarter with six unanswered, and by the end of it, they’d opened up a 15-point lead.
“In the third quarter they got on a nice little roll there and that was the whole ball game,” Grace head coach John Mattheiss said. “We started losing our men, not finding the shooters. That’s all we talked about was identifying shooters, but we didn’t identify them.”
Junior Austin Walker scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the lopsided period, while Grace senior Austin Powell, who led all scorers with 13 at the break, was held scoreless.
Powell, who finished with 18 points for the Golden Eagles (9-12, 3-5), added a pair of buckets and a free-throw in the final quarter, but it did little to help Grace get back in the game.
“Powell is just a really good single A player,” Rose said. “He’s a tough match-up for us because he’s big and strong. He knows how to play the game, but he’s also really mobile, and he handles the ball pretty well.”
Cox finished with 13 points for the Bucs, while Jeremiah Nason and Hall Allen each chipped in eight.
Boyd-Buchanan, which closed out the regular season with a 7-1 mark in league action-the same as district foe Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences-split its head-to-head meetings with the Patriots this season, but the Buccaneers received the No. 1 seed for holding an one-point edge in the two squads’ point differential.
CSAS defeated the Bucs at home by seven (51-44) on Dec. 14, but then suffered a 58-50 loss at Boyd-Buchanan on Jan. 4.