The Bowling Green boys’ basketball team took District 14 rival South Warren’s best shot before delivering a third-quarter knockout in a 74-44 victory over the Spartans on Friday at Bowling Green High School.

Bowling Green (13-3 overall, 3-1 District 14) outscored South Warren 46-20 in the second half to break open a close game and improve to 28-0 all-time against the Spartans.

“(South Warren) had a good game plan,” Bowling Green coach D.G. Sherrill said. “They want to play a lot slower pace than we want to play. Early in the game I thought we got a little frustrated. We had to get to halftime and go over some game plan stuff. I thought we got more aggressive in the second half.”

South Warren (6-9, 0-3) had the game at its pace for the entire first half, but the Purples were able to maintain a lead for a bulk of the half. Elijah Starks started a 6-0 mini-run that gave Bowling Green a 15-9 advantage early in the second quarter.

The lead was never larger than six in the first half, with South Warren keeping it within a possession before Turner Buttry hit a pair of free throws late in the second quarter that pushed the margin to 28-24 at halftime.

South Warren wouldn’t get any closer.

Bowling Green scored the first seven points in the third quarter to get some distance. A 3 from South Warren’s Ty Price temporarily halted the momentum, but Bowling Green responded with a 12-0 run to extend the advantage to 47-31.

“That was key to our success in this game,” Bowling Green sophomore forward Mason Ritter said. “Without that, who knows? It could have been a whole lot closer. That first few minutes coming out of the second half was key to this win.”

The Purples outscored South Warren 29-10 in the third quarter, with the lead growing to as much as 33 points in the final period.

Buttry led the Purples with 22 points, while Ritter and Starks added 12 points each in the paint.

“We knew this was a game that was going to be won in the paint, so we had to get a lot of rebounds and buckets,” Ritter said. “Otherwise, it would have been a lot closer for us.”

Brandon Rowe led South Warren with 16 points, while Price added 11 points.

South Warren is scheduled to host Greenwood at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Bowling Green will host Warren Central at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a rematch of a 91-69 loss to the Dragons on Jan. 4. The Purples will then travel to Greenwood next Friday, with a chance to sweep the season series from the Gators.

“Our week next week couldn’t be any tougher,” Sherrill said. “You have to win every 14th District game you possibly can to give yourself a chance. We go into next week in good shape, but we also know we play a top-five, top-six team in the state on Tuesday and another top-five, top-six team on Friday. It’s a big challenge for a young basketball team.”

SWHS 9 15 10 10 – 44

BGHS 13 15 29 17 – 74

SW – Rowe 16, Price 11, Lockhart 9, Davis 4, Button 2, Parrish 2.

BG – Buttry 22, Ritter 12, E. Starks 12, Bailey 8, Wardlow 7, Lin 6, Gurley 4, Howard 2, Griffin 1.{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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