SODDY-DAISY — Bradley Central closed out the regular season on the road at Soddy-Daisy Tuesday night, for its 10th District 5-AAA sweep.
The Bears prevailed 66-40, while the reigning state champion Bearettes completed their eighth unbeaten district regular season in the last decade, with a 66-24 victory.
Both teams will now enjoy a long break before seeing their first action in the semifinals of the district tournament at Walker Valley.
By virtue of their first-place finish for the Bearettes and the second-place finish for the Bears, both teams will receive byes from first- and quarterfinal play and won't take the court again until Feb. 19.
BEARS 66, TROJANS 40
Bradley (19-5, 10-2) got off to a sluggish start before finding its momentum in the second half to open up a close game and win going away.
“I got into them pretty good at halftime,” remarked veteran Bear head coach Chuck Clark after the game. “We were rusty due to the lack of practice time caused by weather problems.”
After a quick burst out of the gate to jump to a 7-0 lead, both teams traded baskets with the Bears up 17-11 after the first quarter.
The Trojans (6-18, 0-12) never took the lead throughout the game, although they managed to tie it at 17-17 and again at 19-19 late in the second period.
The first tie led to a Bear timeout and they righted the ship with a "thunder dunk" by junior Tray Curry, followed by buckets by junior Mason Rothwell and a 3-ball by senior Ashton Boyd to close out the half with the Bears on top 27-21.
“I was pleased with our second half,” Coach Clark commented. “We’ll practice Wednesday and Thursday and see how that goes. If it goes good we’ll take some time off but if it doesn’t then we’ll continue to practice.”
The Bears sank seven shots from distance, while shooting 54% overall for the game on 24-of-51 attempts, while sinking 11-of-21 at the free-throw line.
Curry and Rothwell shared scoring honors with 14 points each, with sophomore Quante Berry adding eight. Isaac Smith and Saylor Clark also tossing in seven each in the winning cause.
Tyan Massengale led the Trojans with 12 points in a starting role with sub Logan Ricketts adding 10.
The Bears extended a 45-34 third quarter lead with an explosive 21 points in the fourth period while holding the Trojans to just six points.
Rothwell nailed eight straight points after a Trojan timeout early in the fourth with Tucker Greene adding two breakaway baskets as the Bears went on a 14-4 run to put the game out of reach as they cleared their bench.
The Bears grabbed 27 rebounds, with 17 of those being on the defensive end while making 13 steals.
LADY TROJANS 24
The Bradley girls also started slow and didn't dent the scoreboard until the 3:04 mark of the opening quarter, before a stifling defense began to ignite the offense.
UTC signee Anna Walker scored eight first-quarter points as the Bearettes closed out the frame up by 13-3.
She added eight additional points in the second period as the Bearettes went on a 15-0 run to turn the slow start into a runaway with a 38-7 half-time lead.
Non-starters flooded the game in the second half with nine Bearettes finding the scorebook, led by Walker’s 26 points as the only Bearette in double figures. She also accounted for three steals in limited playing time.
For the Bearettes it was their 81st consecutive District 5-AAA win and their sixth consecutive perfect season of 12-0 in the district.
Like the Bears, they’ll set their sights on the district tournament and await an opponent in the semifinals.
"We were rusty because we hadn’t practiced but once in the past six days," stated Bearette head coach Jason Reuter following the game. "We did have a game with Ooltewah on Friday, but there are things we need to work on in practice.
"We didn’t find out until 11 a.m. today that we were playing tonight so we only had 40 minutes to practice today," he continued.
"We’ve just got to get better and with an 11-day layoff I’ve got to get real crafty in practice. I promise you we won’t have two days off next week."
The Bearette defense forced 38 turnovers while picking up 23 steals with 18 assists on 29 made baskets.
They shot 54.7% for the game (29-of-53) but cooled off at the foul line with 44.4% (4-of-9). Long-range shooting was also down to 26.7% (4-of-15).
Bailey Branam managed eight points to top Lady Trojans (8-16, 2-10) scoring for the game.
Tuesday, Feb. 11
at Soddy-Daisy HS
Bradley Central . 13 . 25 . 17 . 11 — 66
Soddy-Daisy . 3 . 4 . 11 . 6 — 24
BEARETTES (66) — Anna Walker 26, Jamia Williams 8, Sloan Carpenter 7, Hannah Jones 6, Cambree Mayo 5, Anna Muhonen 5, Estrada 4, Carman 3, Weber 2, Barnes, Reuter, Crittenden, Miles.
LADY TROJANS (24) — Bailey Branam 8, Katie Hamby 6, Collins 3, Perez 2, Sneed 2, Morgan 2, Yother 1, Lemacks, Trimier, Brown, Harding, Crawley, May, Varner.
3-POINTERS: BC 4 (Mayo, Walker, Carpenter, Carman); SD 1 (Hamby).
FREE THROWS: BC 4-of-9; SD 7-of-15.
RECORDS: No. 1-ranked Bradley Central 23-3, 12-0 District 5-AAA; Soddy-Daisy 8-17, 2-10 District 5-AAA.
Bradley Central . 17 . 10 . 18 . 21 — 66
Soddy-Daisy 11 . 10 . 13 . 6 — 40
BEARS (66) — Mason Rothwell 14, Tray Curry 14, Quante Berry 8, Isaac Smith 7, Saylor Clark 7, Ashton Boyd 6, Greene 4, Howard 2, Davis 2, Haney 2, Shumbera, Wycoff.
TROJANS (40) — n/a
3-point goals: BC 7 (Boyd 2, Berry 2, Smith 2, Clark); SD 2 (n/a).
Free throws: BC 11-of-20; SD 6-of-11.
Records: Bradley Central 19-5, 10-2 District 5-AAA; Soddy-Daisy 6-17, 0-12 District 5-AAA.