“I couldn’t find anything to complain about,” he remarked after the 90-22 rout of Rhea County at Jim Smiddy Arena. “Even after a win (a coach) has a couple of things he talks about that the team needs to improve on, but I couldn’t find anything.”
The 68-point victory was highlighted by a possible program record 14 3-pointers made as six different Bearettes hit from long range, including senior post Monica Hammond’s first career trey.
“I don’t know if it’s a record or not, but I know it was something to see,” commented Reuter. “Back when Amy Geren and Paige Redmon were teammates here they put up a lot of 3s, so I don’t know for sure what the record is.”
The “downtown” shooting didn’t end with the final buzzer of the girls’ game as the Bradley boys sank five of their first half dozen shots from beyond the arc as well on their way to their 24th straight victory over the Eagles, this one by a 73-44 margin.
“After the way we finished the game last Friday (blowing a 12-point lead in the final two minutes before nipping McMinn County by three), our guys wanted to come out and make a statement,” declared veteran Bear head coach Kent Smith. “Everybody did a great job of doing what they needed to do tonight. We played to our capabilities.”
Bradley also swept the junior varsity games Tuesday evening and will now prepare for a trip to Soddy-Daisy Friday for another District 5-AAA matchup.
The Bearettes (16-1, 5-0 District 5-AAA) scored the first 10 points of the contest, which equaled Rhea County’s (7-10, 2-3) output for the entire first half.
After leading 23-5 at the first buzzer, Bradley took a 51-10 advantage into the halftime locker room. The advantage stretched to 76-18 at the end of the third period before the Bearette bench scored the final 14 points of the night.
Having now won 40-of-41 games against the Lady Eagles since 1992, Bradley shot an unheard of 64 percent (14-of-22) shots from beyond the 19-foot arc, to go with 63 percent (15-of-24) from in front of it. The 90 points was not only the highest point-total since the opening game of the 2007-08 season (a 91-12 victory over East Ridge), but it also gives the Bearettes 1,000 points on the season.
Meanwhile, the Bearette defense copped 21 steals as part of 36 turnovers by the visitors, plus the offense spread the ball around with 20 assists while turning the ball over just a half dozen times.
“We are playing very unselfish ball,” praised Reuter, who’s team was ranked fourth in the first Associated Press poll of the season Monday. “Nobody’s concerned with who’s getting how many points, we’re just getting the ball to the open player and taking good shots.”
Sophomore Brooke Copeland once again led her team with 17 points, plus she grabbed five rebounds.
Lee University signees Kayla Beavers and Caroline Smith pitched in with 15 and 12 points, while senior Taylor Neuharth also added a dozen.
All of Beavers’ points came on five long-range bombs, while Smith drained a couple and Neuharth four. Smith also handed out six assists and copped five steals.
Rhea County made more 3s (4) than two-pointers (3) as the Lady Eagles sank just 7-of-34 shots on the night. Julie Brown led the visitors with 12 points, including a trio of treys.
Lyndsey Davis and Chelsea Summars both hit a pair of 3s while scoring 15 and 10 points respectively in the Bearettes’ 44-26 junior varsity victory.
Bears 73, Eagles 44
Bradley’s early hot hands came from guards Justin Houston and Bryce Copeland who combined for a half dozen 3-pointers in the opening period while the home team built a 26-11 advantage.
The Bears (13-4, 3-2) then began to pound the ball inside in the second frame, which resulted in a 42-19 halftime edge.
Rhea County (9-7, 3-2) was able to keep pace in the third quarter (15-14), before Bradley capped the win with a 16-11 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes.
The hosts drained 22-of-37 shots from the two-point area, plus hit 8-of-20 from beyond the arc. Bradley spread the ball around with 23 assists to just eight turnovers (only one in the first half).
Copeland led the balanced attack with 16 points, six assists and a half dozen rebounds, while Houston added 13 markers, four assists and a trio of steals.
Senior Miles Morgan posted a double-double with a dozen points and cleaned the glass for 10 rebounds. Senior Hunter Chastain collected nine points, five caroms and four helps in the victory.
Rhea’s Jalen Smith drained three 3s to bring the night’s combined varsity total to 29, on his way to 17 points.
After trailing by a point at the half, the JV Bears improved to 7-2 on the season with a 44-32 victory behind 14 points from both Logan Cox and Taylor Bentley.
Rhea County 5 5 8 4 — 22
Bradley Central 23 28 25 14 — 90
Lady Eagles (22) — Julie Brown 12, Hughey 5, Ervin 2, Allen 2, Thompson 1, Leir, Gentry, Thurman, Revis, Loden, Mills, Matthews.
Bearettes (90) — Brooke Copeland 17, Kayla Beavers 15, Caroline Smith 12, Taylor Neuharth 12, Reuter 9, McCracken 5, Whitted 5, Formont 5, Hammond 4, Summars 3, Withrow 2, Carroll 1, Davis.
3-pointers: Rhea County 4 (Brown 3, Hughey); Bradley 14 (Beavers 5, Neuharth 4, Smith 2, Reuter, Hammond, Whitted).
Free Throws: Rhea County 4-of-9; Bradley 18-of-29.
Records: Rhea County 7-10, 2-3 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 16-1, 5-0 District 5-AAA. .
Rhea County 11 8 14 11 — 44
Bradley Central 26 16 15 16 — 73
Eagles (44) — Jalen Smith 17, Josh Coleman 14, P. Opperman 6, McWherter 4, Clark 2, Dotson 1, Hill, Harrison, Eastman, J. Opperman, Albina.
Bears (73) — Bryce Copeland 16, Justin Houston 13, Miles Morgan 12, Chastain 9, Whitmire 7, Christian 5, Cox 4, Contreras 4, Johnson 3, Terrell, Cain, Bentley, Thompson.
3-pointers: Rhea County 3 (Smith 3); Bradley 8 (Copeland 4, Houston 3, Christian).
Free Throws: Rhea County 7-of-9; Bradley 5-of-12.
Records: Rhea County 9-7, 3-2 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 13-4, 3-2 District 5-AAA.