A strong first half went a long way for the Greens Farms Academy in its New England Tournament opener on Wednesday.
The top seed in Class C, the Dragons built a 19-point lead after 16 minutes and rolled to an 86-55 win over No. 8 Lexington Christian (Mass.) in the quarterfinals at Westminster School in Simsbury.
Senior guard Hunter Eggers poured in a game-high 28 points to lead GFA, while forward Sean Obi had 19 points, along with seven rebounds. Eggers also surpassed 1,000 career points in the win.
"They had talent. They didn't have any height," GFA coach Doug Scott said of Lexington Christian.
With its 16th straight win, the Dragons improved to 22-2 on the year and will host No. 4 Hyde School of Woodstock on Friday at a time to be announced.
GFA, which won its first Fairchester Athletic Association title last Saturday, outscored Lexington 36-24 in the second half behind another balanced effort on both ends of the floor.
Senior guard Matt Tate had 16 points and nine assists, while Eggers also had seven helpers. Forward Zach Baines chipped in 10 points for the Dragons.
While Eggers and the Rice University-bound Obi topped the Dragons in scoring, Scott credited his other starters for helping fuel the offensive output.
"Matt Tate was orchestrating beautifully. Patrick Ryan was just killing them with defense. Zach was killing them with defense," Scott said. "Scoring-wise, those guys ended up in the book, but a lot of that was the pass that made the pass."
Lexington (11-8) got 19 points from Christian Schmidt and 14 from Adrian Ibeh.
Sticking to its usual script, GFA locked down defensively and forced turnovers, which led to a collection of points. Of the Dragons' 34 made field goals, 30 came from inside the arc.
"When we're not in foul trouble, we really like to try to squeeze you defensively so we can create some turnovers. I think that happened here," Scott said. "Whenever you see Hunter's numbers going up big like that, it's because he's running on the top end of the break."
Needing just one more win to advance to Sunday's final in Worcester, Mass., GFA will get an opportunity Friday to avenge last year's quarterfinal loss to Hyde (59-43). Hyde advanced with a 67-58 defeat of No. 5 Providence Country Day (R.I.) on Wednesday.
Scott said that Hyde has the height to match up well with the Dragons.
"Sean is kind of the hub to our stuff, so if you take away our hub, then it's a problem," Scott said. "They've got a couple bodies that can make it tough on us. ... It's a pretty good team."
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GREENS FARMS ACADEMY 86, LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (Mass.) 55
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (11-8)
Siwei Chen 0 0-0 0 Mwendwa Mutuku 0 0-0 0 Aaron Soroa 2 0-0 4 Christian Schmidt 6 5-5 19 Terrance Edrington 0 0-0 0 Nick Turgiss 2 1-2 5 Akwasi Appiah 3 2-6 8 Adrian Ibeh 6 0-0 14 Christian Seidler 1 2-2 5 Reuben Duttweiler 0 0-0 0 Jack McMahan 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 3-7 55.
GREENS FARMS (22-2)
Van Barnet 0 0-0 0 Brendan Bieder 1 0-0 2 Matt Tate 7 2-2 16 Hunter Eggers 11 2-3 28 Pat Ryan 1 4-4 6 Andrew Chase 0 1-2 1 Scott Deutsch 2 0-0 4 Zach Baines 3 4-4 10 Sam Hodge 1 0-0 2 Sean Obi 8 3-4 19. Totals 34 16-19 86.
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN 31 24 -- 55
GREENS FARMS 50 36 -- 86
3-pointers: LC -- Schmidt 2, Ibeh 2, Seider; GFA -- Eggers 4.