Marcus Fitzgerald tries to switch the ball to his other hand as he prepares to split two Ensworth defenders

Marcus Fitzgerald tries to switch the ball to his other hand as he prepares to split two Ensworth defenders

A strong defensive performance and near-perfect execution from the free-throw line lifted the Brentwood Academy Eagles to a 41-33 victory at home over the Ensworth Tigers on Friday night. 

Brentwood Academy’s BJ Davis scored 14 points and Marcus Fitzgerald added 13 points to help the Eagles (21-6, 10-2) earn their 10th straight win. 

The win over Ensworth (16-10, 8-4) also caps off a big week for the Eagles, who also defeated Baylor on Tuesday to solidify their position on top of the D-II Class AA East & Middle Region standings. 

“When you get two good, athletic defensive teams, sometimes the games are really ugly and that’s what happened tonight,” Brentwood Academy Coach Hubie Smith said. “Luckily, we just scored a few more points.”

The highly-anticipated rematch between regional rivals Brentwood Academy and Ensworth turned into a low-scoring defensive showdown, with both teams struggling for most of the games to put points on the board. 

The Eagles battled to a 14-12 lead at halftime after holding the Tigers to just two points in the second quarter. 

What helped Brentwood Academy pull away was their near flawless execution from the charity stripe, which accounted for almost half of the Eagles’ point total. The Eagles finished 87 percent from the free-throw line, converting 20 of their 23 free throw attempts -- including several pivotal free throws came in the final minute of play. 

“In a low-scoring game like this, you have to make free throws,” Davis said. “Being able to get to the free throw line and converting, and also locking it down on defense, that made the difference for us.”

With the Tigers mounting a comeback effort, Ensworth guard Lewis McDaniel sunk a three-pointer with 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter to slice the Eagles’ lead to 35-33. But Brentwood Academy’s BJ Davis, Marcus Fitzgerald and Randy Brady each made a pair of free throws on the ensuing Eagles possessions to secure the victory.  

BOX SCORE

Brentwood Academy (41): BJ Davis 14, Marcus Fitzgerald 13, Cory Reynolds 8, Randy Brady 6

Ensworth (33): Lewis McDaniel 22, Devaki Garr 4,Key Collier 2, Dominic Wynn 2, Chaz Lanier 2, Keshawn Lawrence 1

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