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Second Halfs Dooms Gators

By MICHEAL COMPTON The Daily News mcompton@bgdailynews.com

With one second-half flurry, the Bowling Green boys' basketball team returned to the Region 4 Tournament.

Bowling Green used a 20-0 run to break open a close game and power past Greenwood 63-37 in the District 14 semifinals on Thursday at Warren East High School.

With the win, the Purples advance to face Warren Central in the District 14 championship at 7 p.m. Saturday at Warren East High School. 

Bowling Green (23-6) also earns a spot in next week's Region 4 Tournament. The Purples missed the region tournament for the first time since 2007 last year.

"That's the key," Bowling Green coach D.G. Sherrill said. "Whether you win by one or 21, you want to get back in the (region) tournament and give yourself a fighting chance to make some noise in the postseason, so we have accomplished that. I'm proud of my kids."

Greenwood (12-16), playing under interim coach Logan Guess after former coach Jason Stonebraker resigned amid an investigation of allegations of inappropriate electronic communication with an 18-year-old GHS student, was done in by a frigid night from the field.

Greenwood, which advanced to the Region 4 Tournament as a No. 5 seed last year, finished 22-for-54 from the field, 2-for-17 from the 3-point-line.

"I hated that it had to happen on this specific night, especially with all the circumstances that have gone on this week," Guess said. "That doesn't change the fact that I am so proud of this senior class and what they have done for this program. I don't where the direction of this program is going or who will be coaching this team next year, but a head coach will be very lucky to coach this young group of talent and men of good character next year."

Despite the offensive woes, Greenwood stayed close for a half before the Purples pulled away.

The Gators shot 28 percent in the first half, but took care of the ball - committing two turnovers.

Greenwood led by as many as four points before BG closed the half with 6-2 spurt to take a 27-23 halftime advantage.

"In the first half, the pace of the game was suited to Greenwood," Sherrill said. "You have to take your hats off to those kids. In spite of some adversity tonight, they really came together and came to play. I knew they would. I know their character and how hard they would play.

"I told our guys that in the second half we couldn't worry about fouls or anything else. We had to push everything to the center of the table. If you lose this game, your season is over with."

The Purples scored the first bucket of the second half, before the Gators' Dylan DeWitt scored five straight to make the score 29-28 with 5:23 left in the third quarter.

It was all Bowling Green from there, with the Purples scoring the next 20 points to break the game wide open.

Greenwood went 8:30 before scoring and more than nine minutes between made field goals. The Gators also committed 12 second-half turnovers, leading to easy transition buckets for Bowling Green.

"Coming into this game, with all this drama outside of the basketball stuff, we tried to keep that out of our head," BG senior guard Nacarius Fant said. "We knew they were going to give us all they had. They played a good game, but the second half our defense cut their water off completely. You have to give them credit. They played hard with all those distractions and gave a good effort."

Sherrill also praised the Gators' players and Guess.

"Coach Guess had his kids ready tonight," Sherrill said. "Under some tough conditions, coach Guess did a great job of getting his guys ready to play. As I told him when we were walking off, he can coach with me any time."

Fant led the Purples with 18 points, while Cheivy McCutchen added 10 points.

Hunter Sewell paced the Gators with 13 points, while DeWitt added 10 points.

GHS 11 12 5 9 — 37

BGHS 9 18 19 17 — 63

GHS — Sewell 13, DeWitt 10, Fee 6, Lewis 2, Stockton 2, Sanders 2, Crump 2.

BG — Fant 18, McCutchen 10, Sine 6, P. Ayers 6, Stivers 6, J. Ayers 5, Tisdale 4, Carothers 4, Jones 2, Taylor 2.

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