The Brentwood Academy Eagles boys basketball team (18-3, 8-2) defeated region rival Father Ryan (10-13, 1-8) at home 55-36 on Friday night to keep within striking distance of first place in the region.

“It is another region win and it helps us lock up at least the two-seed on Thursday night for the region championship against MBA,” said Brentwood Academy head coach Matt Hoppe. “Anytime we can win in our league and region, it is a good win because all of the teams are competitive.”

“I thought BA did a good job of pressuring us tonight,” said Father Ryan head coach Doug Bontrager. “We played two sophomore guards and they struggled against the pressure.”

Father Ryan started action in the first quarter with jumpers and 3-pointers by junior Jair Horton, senior Adam McWright and junior Evan Ernst to go ahead in the frame 11-8.

The Eagles came storming back in the second quarter with baskets by junior Drey Moss, junior DJ Senter and junior Trent McNair, a newly minted Mr. Basketball finalist, to grab the advantage at halftime, 28-17.

In the third quarter, the dynamic duo of Senter and McNair continued to let it fly in the paint and from mid-range to help the Eagles hold steady with a 39-28 margin.

Brentwood Academy continued their scoring clinic in the fourth quarter with baskets by McNair, Senter, Moss, freshman Tyler Tanner and senior Caleb Brooks to seal the victory 55-36.

Brentwood Academy held Father Ryan to 36 points in the contest.

“Our defense sparked our offense tonight,” said Coach Hoppe. “After losing the game last Tuesday to Lipscomb, we really committed to go back and get better defensively. Our guys responded to that and did a good job of guarding and forcing them into turnovers. Tonight was just a whole team defensive effort.”

Father Ryan’s leading scorer was McWright with nine points.

“He does a good job of rebounding in our offense,” said Coach Bontrager. “I think all his points came from rebounding and cutting tonight.”

The Eagles point leaders were McNair with 17 points and Senter with 12.

“We did not hit a 3-pointer tonight, so we just tried to focus on attacking the basket, getting in the paint, and creating for others,” said Coach Hoppe. “We encouraged our guys to be more aggressive. Trent and DJ were key in our defense, which led to opportunities for them on offense.”

Father Ryan will face Pope John Paul II next Tuesday.

“Everyone is kind of banged up and sore, so we just have to get healthy right now,” said Coach Bontrager.

Brentwood Academy will take on MBA at home next Thursday.

“That is going to be a huge game,” said Coach Hoppe. “They gave us our two region losses last year, and they have their whole team back. Last year it came down to the last game of the season, so we are going to have to be ready to play and do things to help us be successful.”

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