After more than a week off the Bradley Central basketball teams returned to the court Monday night with a pair of very similar make-up games.
The Black-and-Gold varsity teams ripped the Jim Smiddy Arena nylon for a combined 156 points as they blasted Soddy-Daisy in District 5-AAA competition that had been postponed from last Friday due to weather.
“After not touching a ball for a week, it was good to be able to get back into action,” Coach Jason Reuter said after his 10th-ranked Bearettes had little trouble in a 77-25 rout. “This isn’t the time of year you want a week off. Our girls did a good job of spreading the ball around and all of our players were able to contribute tonight.”
The boys game followed suit as the Bears also raced out to a big first-period lead and never looked back for a 79-39 victory.
“We had a lot of embarrassment and hurt feelings after the McMinn County loss but we came out tonight and played with a lot of intensity for all four quarters,” longtime Bradley coach Kent Smith proclaimed. “This is a big week for us with three district games.”
Bradley will travel to the north end of the county tonight to face Walker Valley at “The Stable” before hosting Ooltewah Friday evening.
Tonight’s battle of state-ranked girls’ teams (see related story this page) is a tangle for the top spot in the District 5-AAA race. The Bearettes come in 13-4 overall and 4-1 in the district, with their only conference loss coming at the hands of the fifth-ranked Lady Mustangs, who are 13-1 on the season, including wins in all five of their 5-AAA games.
In the boys’ varsity matchup, the Mustangs (1-13, 0-5) will be looking to avenge the worst loss (70-27) in school history, which came to the Bears (11-5, 2-3) back in early December.
With five of their first seven field goals coming from beyond the arc, the Bradley boys were up 19-2 just five minutes into the contest Monday.
The Bears stretched a 15-point lead at the first break to 19 by intermission. A 25-9 run in the third period put the game away and forced a running clock for the final eight minutes.
Claiming coach Smith’s 24th win in 27 meetings with the Trojans, the Bears hit 60 percent of their 10 shots from beyond the 19-foot line, plus 41 percent (16-of-39) from in front of it. Bradley also drained 29-of-40 free throws, including 22-of-28 in the final two frames.
All 11 Bears got into the scoring column with junior Hunter Chastain netting a game-high 14 points, while classmate Miles Christian drained an opening period 3-pointer, plus went 8-for-8 from the charity stripe in the second half for 11 points.
James Houston, James Stovall and Miles Morgan each collected eight points, while Darien Johnson netted seven in the victory
Under constant pressure from the Bear defense, Soddy-Daisy (1-11, 0-5) turned the ball over 31 times and despite having a height advantage lost the battle of the boards by a 25-17 margin.
No Trojan reached double figures in scoring as James Fowlkes and Hunter Landreth topped the visitors with eight points apiece.
Lady Trojans 25
Pumping in 15 points while holding the Soddy girls scoreless for nearly the first five minutes of the contest, Bradley scored enough points by the close of the first period to win the game.
Already leading 27-7, the Bearettes started the second frame with a 14-0 run and gave up just a free throw and a field goal in the final minute of the half. The scoreboard read 46-10 as the teams went into the locker rooms.
Although Soddy-Daisy (6-7, 1-4) scored more than half of its points in the third period the Bearette bench allowed the visitors just one field goal in the final eight minutes.
“Everybody gave a good effort tonight,” coach Reuter praised. “We didn’t look like we had too much rust after the long layoff but we were glad to be able to get back on the floor.”
The Bearettes controlled the boards by a 35-9 margin, plus took advantage of 35 Lady Trojan turnovers.
Juniors Kayla Beavers and Caroline Smith led the Bradley attack with 14 and 13 points respectively, while freshman Brooke Copeland dropped in 11 points, snagged a half dozen rebounds, copped five steals and blocked a pair of shots. Smith swiped four thefts and handed off four assists.
Sophomore Kayla Withrow added nine points to the winning total, while freshman Rebecca Reuter and junior Monica Hammond dropped in a half dozen points apiece. Reuter also pulled down seven rebounds and copped four steals, while Hammond snagged four caroms.
Baylee Carroll also netted six points and cleaned the glass for four rebounds in the victory.
Kelsey Nunley led the way for the Lady Trojans with a dozen points.
Lady Trojans 14
Much like the varsity matchup, the Bradley girls raced out to a 26-2 lead and never looked back, holding the visitors to total of seven points in the first three periods on their way to a 67-14 victory to go to 7-0 on the season.
Alexia Hubbard paced the victors with a dozen points, while Reuter added 11, all in the opening period.
Brandi Whitted helped out with 10 points, while Kayla Rymer netted nine, Victoria Jones 7 and Mady Stallings 6.
Bears 76, Trojans 47
In the closest game of the night, Soddy led 18-13 at the first break and by a point at the half.
Bradley took control in the third period with a 25-5 run and then capped its eighth win in nine games with a 19-9 rally in the final frame.
Blade Cruz and Matt Whitmire led four Bears in double figures with 14 points apiece, while Logan Blackwell drained a dozen an Geraldo Contreras added 11.
BEARETTES 77, LADY TROJANS 25
Soddy-Daisy 7 3 13 2 — 25
Bradley Central 27 19 19 12 — 77
Lady Trojans (25) — Kelsey Nunley 12, Bolton 6, Wade 3, Orr 2, Holden 2, M. Harris, H. Harris, Conner, Orr.
Bearettes (77) — Kayla Beavers 14, Caroline Smith 13, Brooke Copeland 11, Withrow 9, Reuter 6, Hammond 6, Carroll 6, Rymer 5, Whitted 5, Atkins 2, Formont, Hubbard.
3-pointers: Soddy-Daisy 0; Bradley 6 (Beavers 2, Withrow 2, Rymer, Whitted).
Free Throws: Soddy-Daisy 5-of-9; Bradley 15-of-21.
Records: Soddy-Daisy 6-7, 1-4 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 13-4, 4-1 District 5-AAA.
BEARS 79, TROJANS 39
Soddy-Daisy 6 11 9 13 — 39
Bradley Central 21 15 25 18 — 79
Trojans (39) — Landreth 8, Fowlkes 8, Brown 6, A. Floyd 6, Rodgers 5, M. Floyd 3, Linz 2, Smith 1, Hamilton, Hutchens, Brackett.
Bears (79) — Hunter Chastain 14, Miles Christian 11, Houston 8, Stovall 8, Morgan 8, Johnson 7, Whitmire 6, Contreras 6, Copeland 5, Thompson 3, Cruz 3.
3-pointers: Soddy-Daisy 5 (Landreth 2, Rodgers, M. Floyd, A. Floyd); Bradley 6 (Copeland 2, Houston, Johnson, Christian, Cruz).
Free Throws: Soddy-Daisy 8-of-13; Bradley 29-of-39.
Records: Soddy-Daisy 1-11, 0-5 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 11-5, 2-3 District 5-AAA.