Both the Bearettes and the Bears walked off the court with their second victories and can turn their attention to Tuesday’s regular season openers at McMinn Central. Bradley won the girls game by a 64-52, while the boys claimed a 70-48 win.
It was a hard fought game for the Bearettes. Bradley’s girls seemed caught off guard by the speed and intensity of their competition. They found themselves trailing 18-10 as the first quarter came to a close.
“This team [Morristown East] came in ready to play and that put us a little back on our heals,” stated Bradley girls head coach Jason Reuter. “They jumped on us early. We aren’t used to that here at home, but we finally got our motors going and started playing ‘Bearette basketball.’”
Reuter elaborated that the Lady Hurricanes were holding strong against the Bradley press and that gave his team problems finding consistent scoring.
Buckets started to fall for the Bearettes as the opening half drew to a close and a last second 3-pointer from Lee University signee Kayla Beavers put them up 30-28 going into the locker rooms.
“It was a little surprising to go into half-time with the lead. We hit that last shot at the buzzer to go up two, so we trailed almost the entire first half,” stated Reuter.
From that point on the girls turned it on, coming out in the third quarter and taking Morristown East on a 19-2 run. The game appeared to be on its way to over.
“It should have been about over at that point, but we took our foot off of them a bit and let them crawl back in the game a little. Putting teams away is something we are going to have to improve on,” Reuter said.
But, it was too little too late for the ’Canes as the Bradley girls never let the ball game get out of hand.
The Bearettes were led by Caroline Smith, who has also signed with Lee, with 21 points; Brooke Copeland put up 20, had 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots; Beavers had 13 points and six rebounds; Monica Hammonds had five boards and Keila Formont had eight points.
“We missed some easy shots early, before we finally started putting the ball in the hole. It was a nice team effort. We are still dealing with a few injuries,” finished Reuter.
Bears 70, Hurricanes 48
The boys were an exact opposite story. The Bears dominated the Hurricanes through the first three quarters before surrendering some ground as the game came to a close.
It was a strong start for the Bradley ballers holding Morristown East to single digit scoring for both the first two quarters.
Things were well in hand as the Bears took the locker room with a comfortable 38-12 lead.
“We came out really intense, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” said Bear head coach Kent Smith.
“We did a good job of taking them out of their offense. We kept that same intensity though the third quarter, but we gave some guys a chance to play in the fourth quarter and our intensity and fundamentals really took a hit.”
Despite the rocky forth quarter Smith explained that he was pleased with the whole team effort, especially coming off a difficult game Tuesday night against Siegel.
“Rebounding in the first half was a major positive to take out of tonight’s game,” explained the coach.
“We out-rebounded them by around 10 in the first half. That was something we didn’t feel like we did well in the Siegel game, so it was something we stressed.”
Bear scoring was lead by Hunter Chastain with 14 points, Chris Thompson had 12, Justin Houston put up nine and Darien Johnson and Miles Morgan both had eight.
All 11 Bradley players that saw game time walked off the court with at least a point in the win.
“This was a great team win. Everyone who played scored and we had 17 assists tonight so it was a really good overall team effort,” Smith stated.
Both squad will be in action Tuesday night against McMinn Central. The Bearettes will have their hands full against a Chargerettes squad that is the defending AA state champion.
Morristown East 18 10 11 13 — 52
Bradley Central 10 20 19 15 — 64
Lady Hurricanes (52) — Jade Hale 14, Leslie Berquist 13, Long 2, Hayes 5, Hensley 9, King 9.
Bearettes (64) — Caroline Smith 21, Brooke Copeland 20, Kayla Beavers 13, Foremont 8, McCracken 2.
3-pointers: Morristown East 7 (Davidson 1, Hale 3, Hensley 1, King 2); Bradley 3 (Beavers 3).
Free Throws: Morristown East 9-of-17; Bradley 11-of-18.
Records: Morristown East 0-1, Bradley 2-0
Morristown East 6 6 13 23 — 48
Bradley Central 21 17 15 17 — 70
Hurricanes (48) — Aaron Wheeler 16, Thornhill 7, Miranda 5, Thompson 6, Samsel 9, Miranda 5.
Bears (70) — Hunter Chastain 14, Chris Thompson 12, Bentley 1, Houston 9, Johnson 8, Christian 5, Cox 2, Contreras 5, Morgan 8, Whittmire 2, Cain 4.
3-pointers: Morristown East 2 (Thornhill, Miranda); Bradley 6 (Thompson 1, Houston 1, Johnson 2, Christian 1, Contreras 1).
Free Throws: Morristown East 8-of-16; Bradley 16-of-22.
Records: Morristown East 0-1, Bradley 2-0