Thmas Academy starts fast, beats Paul R. Brown by 20

FAYETTEVILLE — Paul R. Brown stayed right with Thomas Academy on Monday in the CAASC Eastern Airborne Conference tournament opener — but it was the second half, after the Bulldogs had already been put in a huge hole. That led to a 64-44 loss, sending Paul R. Brown home to await the state tournament pairings.

Thomas Academy opened the game with a 12-2 run and found themselves trailing by a 14-4 margin after the first quarter.

Paul R. Brown closed the deficit to 16-12 in the second quarter, but the Eagles all but put the last nail in Paul R. Brown’s coffin with a 16-1 run to end the first half and take a 32-13 advantage into halftime.

“Once again, we started the game slow — and then we had big lapses even after we got things going,” Bulldogs coach ken Cross said. “There’s been no consistency.”

Paul R. Brown earned a 17-15 win in the third quarter before Thomas Academy outscored the Bulldogs in the fourth frame, 17-4, and sealed the 20-point win.

“Up until the Christmas break, we were improving,” Cross said. “I haven’t seen that since then.”

It was the third loss to Thomas Academy in 10 days for the Bulldogs.

Paul R. Brown, now 6-6 overall, is expected to find out Saturday who and where they will open the state playoffs.