The latest in a long list of honors during their high school athletic careers was bestowed upon Bradley Central’s “Twin Towers” today as they were named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Class AAA All-State Basketball Team.
Rebecca Reuter and Brooke Copeland have earned numerous accolades during their four-year careers on both the Bearette basketball and volleyball teams, with the TWSA All-State honor being a first for Reuter and a fourth for Copeland (two in each sport). Copeland and her older brother Bryce became the first brother-sister combo to be named to all-state teams in the same sport in the same season last year.
The dynamic pair helped lead the Bearettes to their second straight TSSAA State Championship Tournament, as well as their fourth straight District 5-AAA and Region 3-AAA titles this past hardwood season.
Copeland led the team in scoring and rebounding with an average of 21 points and 9.8 caroms per outing, while handing out 73 assists, blocking 57 shots and copping 50 steals in the first 29 games.
The 6-foot-2 University of Florida signee sank almost 50 percent of her shots from the two-point area, plus made better than 77 percent (171-of-221) of her free-throw attempts.
During this year’s state tournament game, Copeland ripped the cords for a game-high 21 points, moving her past Jackie Pickel into eighth place on the all-time Bearette scoring list with 2,232 career points.
The McDonald’s All-American nominee and two-time District 5-AAA Player of the Year, as well as this year’s Region Player of the Year, also cleared eight rebounds, handed out four assists and blocked a pair of shots in the loss to eventual state runner-up Memphis Ridgeway.
“My career at Bradley has been amazing. I’ve enjoyed it so much. I’m blessed,” Copeland stated after her final game.
Reuter is 17th on the program’s scoring chart with 1,108 points, after posting a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with four assists and a blocked shot, while playing on her future home court at Middle Tennessee State University during the state tournament.
The 6-foot-3 MTSU signee hit better than 59 percent (121-of-204) of her close-range shots, plus pumped in 73 percent (85-for-116) of her charity tosses building up to her finale. With 14 3-pointers to her credit, she averaged better than 12 points and nearly nine rebounds a game this past season, plus led the team with 60 blocks, and is second on the squad with 83 assists.
“I wish it (her career) could have gone a little farther, but I’ve really enjoyed playing at Bradley,” related Reuter.
For four years the “Twin Towers” provided highlights for Bradley fans, so it was only fitting the NCAA Division I duo teamed up for the most important play of the season.
After trailing the entire fourth period and down a point with 12.6 seconds against Murfreesboro Oakland in the TSSAA Sectional game, Copeland pulled down her 10th rebound of the night off of a missed free throw, dribbled the length on the court and fired a pass to Reuter in the paint, who banked in the winning shot over a pair of Lady Patriot defenders.
“That play is a product of those two girls having played so much together. They know where each other is going to be and that they can count on one another,” declared a jubilant Coach Jason Reuter after the 37-36 victory at Jim Smiddy Arena.
“It being me and Brooke at the end is very fitting,” declared Rebecca Reuter. “When I saw the pass coming to me, I just concentrated on finishing the shot.”
“We had this same situation two years ago against Lawrence County and we didn’t make the shot. I’m glad we got a chance to redeem ourselves,” remarked Copeland. “We (the Bearettes) have a will to win. We (her and Reuter) told the other girls coming out of the timeout (just before the game-winning play), we will win this.”
Bradley’s campaign finished with a 26-6 record, pushing Copeland and Reuter’s career marks to 114-17, for an .870 winning percentage during their four years in the Black-and-Gold.