SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Despite making the long trip to the Upward Classic in South Carolina and facing a Georgia state champion, the Bradley Central Bearettes claimed a 20-point victory to run their current winning streak to 11 Thursday.
Shooting better than 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, coach Jason Reuter’s Bearettes stretched a six-point halftime lead to a 62-42 victory over Fayette County, which won the 2011 Georgia Class AAAA state title.
Bradley will return to action at 7 this evening against the host Dorman High squad. Dorman finished second in the South Carolina state tournament last season and handed upper East Tennessee power Elizabethton just its second loss in a dozen games this season by a 48-46 margin Thursday.
The three-day tournament will wrap up Saturday with the Bearettes playing either in the championship game at 2:30 or the third-place contest at 1, depending on today’s results.
Bradley (11-0) raced out to an 18-12 advantage by the first break Thursday, before the two teams both put 13 points on the scoreboard in the second period.
After the intermission, the Bearettes exploded on a 17-6 third-quarter rally before finishing the victory off with a 14-11 edge in the final eight minutes.
Junior Brooke Copeland led the Bradley attack with a double-double, netting 23 points, cleaning the glass for 13 rebounds, copping a trio of steals and blocking a pair of Fayette County shots.
Senior wing Kayla Withrow helped out with 16 points, including hitting 4-of-8 3-point attempts, plus she dished out a trio of assists in the victory.
Junior point guard Whitney Donaldson continued her steady play with nine points, hitting both of her 3-point attempts, and handing out three assists.
Senior Baylee Carroll came off the bench to snatch nine rebounds, while classmate Brandi Whitted helped out with seven points.
Junior Rebecca Reuter was held to just four points, but the 6-foot-2 post cleared 10 rebounds and blocked four shots.
Bradley shot 52 percent from in front of the 19-foot arc and 57 percent from beyond it, plus sank 8-of-12 free throws, while holding Fayette County to just 30 percent shooting from the field; Fayette hit 4-of-9 from the charity stripe.
The Bearette defense held University of Central Florida signee Aneesa Watson to just 13 points as the 5-foot-11 wing was the only Fayette County player to score in double figures.
Fayette County, Ga. 12 13 6 11 — 42
Bradley Central 18 13 17 14 — 62
LADY TIGERS (42) — Aneesa Watson 13, Smith 8, Harper 3, Hughes 5, Williams 4, Styles 4, Jenkins 3, Jones 2.
BEARETTES (66) — Brooke Copeland 23, Kayla Withrow 16, Donaldson 9, Whitted 7, Reuter 4, Davis 3, Carroll.
3-POINTERS: Bradley 8 (Withrow 4, Donaldson 2, other 2 unknown).
FREE THROWS: Fayette County 4-of-9; Bradley 8-of-12.
RECORDS: Bradley Central 11-0.