Brentwood Academy led most of the way, but Lipscomb Academy kept it close.
The Eagles held on for a 48-40 win on Senior Night at BA on Tuesday night.
“We just couldn’t find that big separation,” BA coach Matt Hoppe said. “We had (the lead) at 10 or 11 points a couple of times and we felt like we were getting ready to kind of break the game open, but then we’d either make a mistake or they’d make a big play.”
D.J. Senter led the Eagles (17-5, 7-1 Division II-AA Middle Region) with 12 points despite injuring his right ankle late in the game. Caleb Brooks added 11 and Trent McNair had 10.
“We fouled at the end,” Brooks said. “That’s what really killed us.”
The Eagles won their fifth straight to remain a half-game behind Montgomery Bell Academy (19-5, 7-0) in the region standings. BA visits MBA in a Feb. 20 regular-season finale.
Willie Walton led Lipscomb with 16 points and Isaac Napier added 10.
“(BA) makes you play a game that’s kind of their style and their pace, and they’re really good at it,” Mustangs coach Will Mantlo said. “Just too many offensive rebounds and turnovers tonight for us to be able to get all the way back to in control.
“They’re just really physical, they’re really sound defensively. They don’t give you easy shots and they’re really hard to keep off the glass.”
BA honored seniors Devyn Curtis, Adam Wass, Preston Sagan and Clay Holmes.
“Preston and Clay are the first two guys off the bench,” Hoppe said. “Preston is a lock-down defender and Clay is our shooter. Adam and Devyn do so many things intangibly. Adam runs the team and Devyn gets so many hustle plays, rebounds, tipped balls, defensive stops.
“They’re vital and so important to our program, the epitome of what we want our senior players to be.”
Eagles’ NBA visitors
Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Darius Garland, a three-time Mr. Basketball and four-time state champion at BA, was in the crowd at BA’s win over Ensworth on Friday.
The point guard is averaging 12.2 points and 3.8 assists per game for the Cavs.
“It shows you how much he loves Brentwood Academy,” Hoppe said. “Ensworth is a big game, of course, so he wanted to be here for that. It was great to see him. I love him like a son and I’ve been coaching him since he was in middle school.”
Brandan Wright, another three-time Mr. Basketball and four-time state champion at BA, has been working out in the Eagles’ weight room nearly every day in the hopes of returning to the NBA.
The 6-foot-10 power forward/center played for seven teams from 2007-18. He’s 32.
“I think he’s been talking to some teams here and there and looking to get back in the league,” Hoppe said. “So hopefully for him we can see it happen. He’s got some mileage left in him.”
Brentwood Academy visits Father Ryan on Friday.
Lipscomb Academy visits Pope John Paul II on Friday night.