BRENTWOOD – Two streaks were extended Tuesday night at Brentwood Academy with the visiting Ensworth girls pulling away for a 59-50 victory – their 53rd consecutive win – and the BA boys improving to 13-0 this season with a 60-53 rivalry win.
The girls’ game is the first meeting of the season between the two storied Division II-AA programs who have met in the last four state title games. Brentwood Academy pushed the unbeaten Lady Tigers and pulled within two points midway through the fourth before the final nine points went to the two-time defending champs.
“We didn’t really throw the ball away, but when we did it was costly,” said Brentwood Academy coach Rhonda Brown, whose team got within 52-50 with 3:54 to play on a Trinity Fields layup. “We just missed some layups in the end, missed some free throws and needed to make a couple stops.”
Ensworth star Jaloni Cambridge poured in a game-best 28 points, but went without a field goal in the fourth. She did convert all six of her free throws, including going 4-of-4 in the final 30 seconds.
Kennedy Cambridge added 12 points and Kamil Collier hit for 10 for the Lady Tigers, who won their 50th game in a row to open the New Year at Pope John Paul II 65-41 last week.
“I don’t think we necessarily defended well tonight at all, but the kids found a way and we came out with a W,” said Ensworth coach Mary Taylor Cowles, whose team improved to 8-0 overall. “We knew that BA wasn’t going to lay down, but we stayed very poised and I think we rebounded the ball really well down to the end.”
Kennedy Cambridge made it 54-50 with a pair of free throws with 2:58 to play and after a missed layup from the Lady Eagles, Ensworth was able to burn more than one minute off the clock before Jayda Woods was fouled. Woods missed the front of the bonus, but Jaloni Cambridge tracked down a long rebound and Kennedy Cambridge made it 55-50 by going 1-of-2 with 53 seconds remaining.
Fields, who scored 15 points to lead BA, battled her way into the lane and was fouled on a follow but came up empty at the foul line with 34 seconds left. Jaloni Cambridge tacked on two more freebies for a 57-50 cushion with 30 seconds to go and she swiped a steal and was fouled with 12 seconds left as well. Her final trip to the foul line provided the final score.
Brentwood Academy (12-3) trailed by as many as eight early, but staked a 36-35 lead when Millie Brown scored inside with 4:27 to play in the third. The Cambridge sisters followed with a pull-up 3-pointer from Jaloni and a drive by Kennedy to regain the lead and stay in front the rest of the way.
That lead reached 50-43 less than 90 seconds into the fourth before another push from the home team brought Brentwood Academy within 50-48 on five quick points from Jaila Lee, including a corner triple.
“The rivalry is definitely there,” Cowles said. “We know every night whatever floor or arena we step out on against BA, it’s going to be a great game.
“We knew coming into this one, this was going to be a very hard fought game. We would have to stay into and focused the entire game and I’m proud we did that.”
Lee closed with 14 and Brown added a dozen for the Lady Eagles, who managed just 8-of-16 shooting at the foul line compared to Ensworth’s 17-of-19 performance.
“It’s good to finally face them,” Brown said. “ It’s good for us and it’s a good test. It’s good to see where we are and we will get better.”
Trent McNair scored 19 points to lead the BA boys to victory Tuesday in the night cap. The Eagles started strong and despite Ensworth missing Skyy and ZZ Clark in the lineup, overcame a tough challenge from the Tigers to stay unbeaten this season.
Caleb Brooks added 14 points for the Eagles, who led by as many as 15 before the Tigers chipped away at the big lead.
Post Malik Dia collected 22 points to lead Ensworth and Devaki Garr added 15.
Brentwood Academy picked up a 68-57 win over the Tigers on Dec. 30 in the championship of the NXT LVL Hoopsfest two weeks ago. The 12-0 start matches BA’s start in 2016 when the Eagles closed 29-3 and wrapped up the second of four consecutive championships.
Ensworth girls 59, Brentwood Academy 50
EHS 19 11 16 13 – 59
BA 13 14 15 8 – 50
EHS (59) – Kennedy Cambridge 12, Keili Martin 7, Jayda Woods 2, Jaloni Cambridge 28, Kamil Collier 10. BA (50) – Jaila Lee 14, Trinity Fields 15, Millie Brown 12, Finley Dennis 2, Caroline Clemmer 7.
3-pointers – EHS 6 (J. Cambridge 4, Martin, K. Cambridge), BA 4 (Lee 2, Brown 2). Total Fouls – EHS 15, BA 14. Fouled Out – None.
Brentwood Academy boys 60, Ensworth 53
EHS 1114 16 12 – 53
BA 17 17 12 14 – 60
EHS (53) – Devaki Garr 15, Noah Jemison 4, Tony Gaines 11, Jon Kelly 2, Malik Dia 22.
BA (60) – Trent McNair 19, Tyler Tanner 5, Caleb Brooks 14, Athan Pohlman 8, Drey Moss 2, Eli Sutton 6, DJ Senter 6.
3-pointers – EHS 4 (Garr 3, Dia); BA 3 (McNair 2, Tanner). Total Fouls – EHS 14, BA 15. Fouled Out – None.