Things got real ugly, real fast for First Baptist Academy in its quarterfinal matchup against Suwanee (Ga.)-North Gwinnett on Thursday night at the Naples Holiday Shootout presented by Arthrex at Barron Collier High School.
It wasn't until the game was 90 seconds old that the Lions were able to advance the ball past half court. By that time, The Bulldogs were already up 10-0.
At the end of the first quarter the score was 25-4. At halftime, it was 53-9. The game went to a running clock the rest of the way. The final was 79-28.
"Coming into this tournament, we knew we had our work cut out for us," Lions coach Jennifer Lines said. "We certainly don't like to lose by that many points, but we didn't expect anything less from (North Gwinnett)."
The Warriors will play Johnson City (Tenn.)-Science Hill in the late semifinal tonight. Defending Shootout champ Chicago-Whitney Young meets Shaker Heights (Ohio)-Hathaway Brown in the other semifinal at 8.
It wasn't that FBA was bad. It was that North Gwinnett, ranked No. 24 in the country by MaxPreps, was so good.
The Bulldogs start three Division I recruits in Lexie Brown (Maryland), guard Baylee Rexing (Mississippi), and 6-foot-3 Peyton Whitted (Penn State).
Brown is the daughter of former NBA player Dee Brown, who won the slam dunk contest in 1991 and is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons.
On Thursday, Brown's supreme basketball DNA was on display. By halftime, the 5-9 guard had 22 points, eight steals, five assists and five rebounds. She ended the night with 27 points.
"You can see in warm-ups, (Brown) is special," Lines said. "It was an honor to be on the court with her. For our girls to play that caliber of talent can only raise the quality of our game."
After the game, Brown echoed Lines' sentiments.
"To be the best, you have to play the best," she said. "That's why it's so awesome to be here. We want to break into the Top 10 nationally. It's so important for us to win this."
Besides Brown, Whitted had 17 points for the Warriors. In fact, seven of the eight Warriors players that got minutes on Thursday scored.
"We have a lot of talent to go with (Brown)," said North Gwinnett coach Brian Sellers, whose team improved to 10-0.
Despite the huge halftime deficit, FBA still played inspired ball in the second half. Emily Lines, the Lions' star sophomore, scored nine of her team-high 12 points after intermission. Teammates Alli Emerson and Savannah Foreman chipped in five apiece.
FIRST BAPTIST (28)
Mosbach 1 0-0 2, Foreman 2 0-0 5, Lines 3 3-3 12, Messen 0 0-0 0, Reed 0 0-0 0, Cox 0 0-0 0, Emerson 2 0-0 5, Kirkpatrick 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 3-5 28
SUWANEE (GA.)-NORTH GWINNETT (79)
Brown 11 1-1 27, Rexing 4 0-0 9, Munlyn 2 3-3 7, Belcher 0 0-0 0, Nkele 1 0-0 3, Jacobs 0 0-0 0, Amichia 3 3-3 9, Wilborn 3 0-0 7, Whitted 8 0-0 17. Totals 32 7-7 79
FBA 4 5 11 9 — 28
NG 25 28 16 10 — 79
3-pointers: FBA — Lines 3, Foreman, Emerson; NG — Brown 4, Rexing, Nkele, Wilborn, Whitted; Team fouls: FBA 7, NG 10; Fouled out: None; Technicals: None