Bulldogs fall to Thomas Academy, 45-36

LAKE WACCAMAW — Paul R. Brown’s quest for a share of the conference crown came to an early end Saturday when Thomas Academy knocked off the visiting Bulldogs, 45-36.

The loss drops Paul R. Brown to 6-5 overall and third in the conference at 5-3. The Bulldogs and Eagles will meet again on Monday at New Life Academy in the conference tournament.

Thomas Academy opened the game Saturday with a 16-7 run through the first quarter, then used a 10-8 aadvantage through the second quarter to open a 26-15 lead by halftime.

“We weren’t getting back on defense and they got a lot of fast-break baskets or long passes up court for points,” said Bulldogs coach Ken Cross.

Not much changed in the second half , but Paul R. Brown did win the third quarter 12-11 to close the gap to 37-27 going into the fourth frame. Down the stretch, Paul R. Brown earned a 9-8 advantage, but couldn’t close the gap further.

“Now we have to play them for a third time in 10 days — and if we win, the prize is to play New Life,” Cross said. New Life beat the Bulldogs twice this season by 30-plus points each.

Zarian Brown led Paul R. Brown with 12 points, while T.J. Smith scored nine.