After defeating opponents from a combined 1,100 miles away, the 2019 La Quinta Inn Thanksgiving Tournament championship came down to a pair of District 5-AAA rivals, that are less than 20 miles apart.
Host Bradley Central claimed its fifth straight "turkey" title with a 68-33 win over East Hamilton for the crown Saturday evening.
The two teams are expected to once again battle it out for the District 5-AAA crown this season and will face off in three weeks (Dec. 17) back at Jim Smiddy Arena.
Bradley had little trouble advancing to the title game for the 10th straight time, knocking off Virginia state champion Richmond Christian 73-25 in Saturday morning's semifinal.
Due to a last-minute adjustment after Germantown dropped out of the tournament earlier this week, the Bearettes' opening game was cancelled; but they played Booker T. Washington Friday evening, winning 80-41.
East Hamilton's path wasn't as easy, having to rally past Campbell (Smyrna, Ga.), 61-57, in the semis and getting past Mae Jemison (Huntsville, Ala.) 63-58 in Friday's opener.
In Saturday's play, Campbell defeated Richmond Christian 47-35 in the third-place game, while Mae Jemison held off Daniel Boone 63-57 in overtime in the fifth-place contest. In Saturday's other contest, BTW nipped Jemison 54-51.
Both Bradley (4-0) and East Hamilton (4-3) have tough games on tap Tuesday evening as the Bearettes host Middle Tennessee powerhouse Blackman (3-1), while the Lady Hurricanes head to Knoxville to face Bearden (4-0).
Bradley will travel to Marion County (2-0) Thursday, before entertaining 2019 D-II AA state champion Ensworth (3-0) Saturday at 2. East Hamilton will take on Ensworth Friday in Collegedale.
LADY HURRICANES 33
Playing their third game in just over 24 hours, Bradley doubled up the vistors 12-6 in the opening period, and led just 23-14 at the midway point.
After the intermission, the reigning state champs took command with a 28-10 third period run and then sealed the deal 17-9 in the final eight minute span.
2019 TSSAA State Tournament MVP Jamaryn Blair led the victory with a game-high 19 points, plus she dealt a half dozen assists and pulled a trio of rebounds.
After missing last year with a foot injury, Anna Muhonen completed a tremendous tournament with a career-high 17 points, hitting 8-of-11 shots from the field, plus clearing six caroms. The 6-foot-2 junior post netted 41 markers and snagged 18 ricochets as well in the three games.
Senior Cambree Mayo drilled a pair of longshots on her way to nine points and four boards, while classmate Anna Walker and junior Alexis Barnes helped with eight points each. Walker also collected eight caroms, a trio of steals and an assist.
2019 Miss Tennessee Basketball Madison Hayes and her younger sister McKenna paced EH with 13 and 12 points respectively. The Missisippi State signee was plagued by foul trouble most of the night, but also grabbed seven ricochets, four thefts and a trio of assists.
RICHMOND CHRISTIAN 25
Leading from pillar-to-post, Bradley stretched a 15-9 edge at the first horn to a 21-point 38-17 halftime advantage.
The Bearettes sealed the victory by holding the Virginia girls scoreless in the third frame, while putting another 24 points on the scoreboard.
With a 38-6 scoring advantage in the paint, Bradley posts Alexis Barnes and Anna Muhonen led the way with a dozen points apiece.
Barnes hit 5-of-6 shots from the field, plus both of her free throws. The 6-foot senior cleaned the glass for eight rebounds and handed out an assist.
Muhonen was perfect on her five field goals, while going 2-for-3 at the charity stripe, plus pulling down a half dozen caroms as well.
Also netting double digits were senior Cambree Mayo with 11 and Blair with 10. Mayo drilled a pair of 3-pointers and copped three steals in the victory, while Blair handed out a half dozen helps, snatched a trio of boards and copped a theft.
UT-Chattanooga signee Anna Walker was held to just six points, including 4-for-4 at the free throw line, but she snatched five caroms and a trio of steals in less than 14 minutes of play.
Junior Kelsey Carman came off the bench to added five points and pulled down four rebounds.
With no one logging more than 18 minutes, 15 Bearettes had at least six minutes of playing time and all but three scored.
BEARETTES 80, BTW 41
Bradley took control from the get-go, netting the game's first eight points, but the girls from Memphis fought back to even the score with eight of their own in a 63-second span.
That would be the last time the game was close as the Bearettes posted 14 straight points in the final 2:40 of the opening period for a 22-8 edge and never looked back.
The second verse was the same as the first with another 22-8 scoring difference, putting the host up by 28 at the intermission.
Like he had in the opening half, Coach Reuter continued to substitute freely while pushing the advantage to 69-29 by the end of the third frame before turning the game over to his younger players for the final eight minutes.
Walker paced the victory with 20 points, including hitting 2-of-3 long-range attempts, plus she blocked a trio of Lady Warrior shots.
Muhonen came off the bench to net a dozen markers, hitting 5-of-7 shots from the field and both of her free throws. She also cleared a half dozen rebounds and swatted a shot attempt.
Blair had her usual well-rounded effort, dropping 11 points, also hitting 5-of-7 shots from the field, plus she snatched six caroms, dished a trio of assists and copped a steal.
Ashton Estrada and Ashlan Crittenden both provided spark off the bench with eight points. Estrada, a 6-foot junior post, hit all four of her field goal, plus grabbed a trio of board and a theft. Crittenden, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, netted 3-of-5 shots, including a 3-pointer, plus cleared five caroms, dealt a pair of "dimes" and made two thefts.
Junior Kelsey Carman helped out with seven points, hitting 2-of-3 attempts, one behind the arc, as well as pulling a pair of rebounds, handing out a help and copping a steal.
Freshman Hannah Jones, a 6-foot post, cleaned the glass for a half dozen rebounds, plus dropped in five points, while classmate Sloan Carpenter snatched a trio of caroms and handed out a pair of assists in the fourth-quarter action.
2109 La Quinta Inn
at Jim Smiddy Arena
Saturday, Nov. 30
East Hamilton 6 810 9 — 33
Bradley Central12112817 — 68
LADY HURRICANES (33) — Madison Hayes 13, McKenna Hayes 12, Strickland 4, Petit 2, Bone 1, Lacy 1, Evans, Sue.
BEARETTES (68) — Jamaryn Blair 19, Anna Muhonen 17, Cambree Mayo 9, Anna Walker 8, Alexis Barnes 8, Jamia Williams 5, Estrada 2, Carman, Crittenden, Reuter.
3-POINTERS: EH 2 (McK. Hayes 2); BC 4 (Mayo 2, Blair, Williams).
FREE THROWS: EH 5-of-12; BC 6-of-15.
RECORDS: East Hamilton 4-3; Bradley Central 4-0.
Richmond Christian 9 8 0 8 — 25
Bradley Central15232411 — 73
LADY WARRIORS (25) — Prophet Sheffield 15, Cherese Lampkins 4, Outten 3, Archer 2, Hicks 1.
BEARETTES (80) — Alexis Barnes 12, Anna Muhonen 12, Cambree Mayo 11, Jamaryn Blair 10, Anna Walker 6, Kelsey Carman 5, Karsee Weber 5, Williams 4, Miles 3, Crittenden 2, Estrada 2, Reuter 1, Jones, Carpenter, Christian.
3-POINTERS: RC 2 (Sheffield 2); BC 5 (Mayo 2, Carman, Weber, Miles).
FREE THROWS: RC 9-of-15; BC 16-of-24.
RECORDS: Richmond Christian 3-1; Bradley Central 3-0.
Friday, Nov. 29
Booker T. Washington 8 81312 — 41
Bradley Central22222511 — 80
LADY WARRIORS (41) — Tramesha Rogers 12, Damia Sharp 9, Chrusia Wilks 8, Anteresa Dickson 6, McDaniel 3, Butler 3, Banks, McNeil.
BEARETTES (80) — Anna Walker 20, Anna Muhonen 12, Jamaryn Blair 11, Ashlan Crittenden 8, Ashton Estrada 8, Kelsey Carman 7, Hannah Jones 5, Reuter 3, Weber 2, Williams 2, Mayo 2, Barnes, Carpenter, Miles, Ledford.
3-POINTERS: BTW 3 (Sharp 2, Wilks); BC 5 (Walker 2, Carman, Crittenden, Retuer).
FREE THROWS: BTW 8-of-16; BC 11-of-17.
RECORDS: Booker T. Washington 2-4; Bradley Central 2-0.