After enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family, the Bradley Central girls were back to business this weekend on the basketball court.
Hosting the 14th annual Mountain View Inn Thanksgiving Tournament, the Bearettes swept all three of their opponents to take home the top trophy.
Bradley claimed victories over previously unbeaten Knoxville Webb, Oak Ridge and Franklin County.
Hamilton Heights also won all three of its games in the round-robin play, but lost out on the fewest-points allowed tie breaker for the title.
Bradley will opened District 5-AAA play Tuesday with a trip to the north end of the county to face rival Walker Valley.
The Bearettes took on Webb in the second of three games on Friday and handed the Lady Spartans their first loss of the season in a 61-54 victory.
The two-time winners and defending champion Bearettes got 25 points from senior Florida signee Brooke Copeland and 14 more from classmate Lyndsey Davis to pace the Bradley girls.
“This (Webb) was a good, tough, well-coached team. They just didn’t turn the ball over,” said Bearettes coach Jason Reuter of the scrappy Lady Spartans. “We won every category except turnovers — we had 15 and they had seven — and foul shooting. They were 9-of-10 and we were 9-of-19.”
From the tip off, it was evident the Lady Spartans had win No. 7 on their minds. Webb raced back from a five-point deficit to jump ahead 7-6 before freshman Emma Kate Brown and Middle Tennessee State signee Rebecca Reuter teamed up to score six straight putting the Bearettes back out front.
Freshman Halle Hughes launched the second 3-pointer of the quarter for Bradley giving the hosts a 15-11 lead at the end of the first eight minutes. Copeland opened the first with a 3, the first of six from behind the arc for the Bearettes.
Brown’s 3 early in the second put the Bearettes on top 19-13, but Webb showed why they stood undefeated in the early season racing back with nine unanswered points to take its first lead of the game, 20-19. A Mady Stallings 3-pointer with 2:46 left in the half put the Bearettes back out by a single point after the teams traded the lead seven times in a two-minute flurry.
Brown gave the Bearettes a 29-27 lead with a 3-point play with just over a minute left in the quarter. Webb fired back with a 3 with five seconds left to take a 30-29 lead at halftime.
“We went down one at halftime. Games are won and lost many times during the 10 minute break at halftime by your adjustments. We just had to make some adjustments defensively. I think we were not paying attention,” said Coach Reuter of the Bearettes’ first-half game. “This team (Webb), their whole game is based on driving the ball. Our strength is their weakness, they don’t have post players like we do. But, their strength could be our weakness at times. They have guards that are well schooled at driving the ball to the basket. They got to the basket numerous times.”
Copeland opened the third with another two from underneath to put the Bearettes back out front. A minute later, Hughes and Stallings went long for back-to-back 3s highlighting a 12-0 run that put the Bearettes out front for good.
Webb cut the 44-30 lead to 44-39 with two minutes left in the quarter, but Copeland squelched the rally with four more hard-fought points from the paint to make it 48-39 in favor of the Bearettes at the end of the quarter.
“You have to play a certain way and we didn’t the first half,” Coach Reuter said of the mid-game alterations. “We made some adjustments. We focused on our team man in the second half. We made them work harder for their points. They had to hit some big shots. You aren’t going to hold them to one score, but we just had to make sure we played good, solid man-to-man defense and be fundamental.”
Hughes opened the fourth quarter with a 3 for the Bearettes who completed the run started by Copeland in the third with five more points to open a 15-point, 56-39 gap.
The Lady Spartans fought back to out score the Bearettes 13-3 in the next three minutes but could pull no closer than seven.
With just over a minute left in the game, the Bearettes spread the court forcing Webb to send the Bradley girls to the free-throw line where the Bearettes struggled missing 5-of-7 attempts. The strategy failed to pay off for Webb as two 3-point attempts bounced off the iron. The Lady Spartans managed only two more points the rest of the way and the Bearettes took the 61-54 win.
“I’m not going to say we’re going to break any record for foul shooting, but we’re not a 9-of-19 foul shooting team,” Coach Rueter said of the not so solid effort from the line.
“I’ve got to be realistic as a coach, we win by seven and should have won by more. Even so I think they would love to trade places with us right now and win by seven. They get a lot out of the talent they have. We just have to make sure we get the most out of what we’ve got.”
LADY WILDCATS 19
The Bearettes got their Saturday started out with a 66-19 victory over a young, inexperienced Oak Ridge team.
“Oak Ridge is very young. They started one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen. They’re a proud program and they’ll be back again. They’re just in a down time right now,” Coach Jason Reuter stated.
The Bearettes jumped out in the lead in the first quarter, with Copeland netting eight of the team’s 20 points in the first eight minutes of play.
By the half, Bradley had another 20 points added to the scoreboard, extending their lead over Oak Ridge to 28 points.
The strong start by the Bearettes gave Coach Reuter the opportunity to get the younger members of his roster some more game experience.
“Occasionally it’s good to have a game where you can play some younger kids and get them some game experience,” Reuter explained. “There’s no substitute for it. It’s on the job training so to speak.”
Bradley scored 14 more points in the third quarter, while Oak Ridge was only able to add four points to their total.
The Bearettes kept the momentum going into the fourth quarter, where they outscored the Lady Wildcats 12-3 before the final buzzer sounded.
Bradley improved its free throw shooting from the night before, hitting 10-of-12, while Oak Ridge went 3-for-8.
One thing Coach Reuter was concerned with was the unforced turnovers his team gave up.
“It seemed like just about every turnover we had was unforced. Nobody is perfect and turnovers will happen, but we’re trying to cut down on those unforced turnovers,” Coach Reuter explained.
Overall, nine Bearettes put points up on the board during the rout.
“Everyone came in and contributed. We had scoring all around from guards to post,” Coach Reuter said.
Copeland led the team with a total of 20 points in the game, with Rebecca Reuter and Hughes each adding nine points to the scoreboard.
Getting to see her first action of the season during the tournament, junior point guard Chelsea Summars was one of six Bearettes to drain a 3-pointer. Stallings, Davis, Katie Brown, “EK” Brown, and Julia Gaither hit from long range as well Saturday afternoon.
The Bearettes closed out the Mountain View tournament with a championship 49-28 win over Franklin County.
“Nobody expected us to lose this game and I think our kids came out and did what they had to do,” said Coach Reuter. “It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, we were holding the ball (at the end of the game) up 22 points and they were satisfied to let us do that.”
Lyndsey Davis opened for the Bearettes with a 3-pointer and Copeland followed with a basket from the paint giving Bradley a 2-0 lead. Rebecca Reuter followed with back-to-back 2s to put the Bearettes on top 9-2. The Rebelettes closed the first quarter with back-to-back 3s to make it an 11-8 game after Copeland dropped a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left.
Copeland finished the closer with 22 points.
Copeland opened the second with a deuce and a 3 from the top of the key. The Bearettes’ center hit another trey seconds later followed by a shot from behind the arc from Mady Stallings that put Bradley on top 22-9. Franklin County scored from outside to make it a 22-12 game, but did not find the hoop again while the Bearettes closed out with the final nine points highlighted by the fifth 3 of the game for BCHS off the fingertips of Julia Gaither. The Bearettes led 30-12 at the break.
The Bearettes followed the hot hand of Copeland in the third. The 6-2 senior scored all but two of the Bearettes 12 points save two on a steal and layup by Emma Kate Brown with 20 seconds left in the quarter. The Rebelettes scored on back-to-back 3-pointers by Chelsie Stovall and hit a final 3 with five seconds left, but trailed 43-23 at the buzzer.
The Bearettes finished the night with five more Copeland points and a 3 by Brown. Bradley played keep away for the final two minutes to lock up the win.
“This was a rare game. I’ve been coaching the Bearettes four years and we shot more 3s than we did 2s. I think that would be unusual for most teams, especially for us. But, that is the shot they gave us,” the Bearettes coach stated. “I’m proud of my girls. Chelsie Summars, what a great feeling to see that young lady back on the floor. She hasn’t played in a year and a half. She is easing herself back in and I praise the Lord she is back out there healthy again playing. She really loves this game. She is really going to make a difference for us.”
The Bearettes shot 20 2s and 23 3s hitting six times from behind the arc.
Coach Reuter said although the tournament was not a standard follow the brackets event, he was pleased with how it went overall.
“We did a little unusual setting with our team brackets,” he explained. “It wasn’t a true bracket tournament. We had a criteria with whomever had the best record and who gave up the fewest points. We gave up fewer points than Hamilton Heights even though we both finished 3-0.
“Overall I’ve got to be pleased with my girls. We didn’t score a ton of points, but every game is different. They did what they were supposed to do. They came out and won this tournament,” said Reuter.
Oak Ridge 10 2 4 3 — 19
Bradley Central 20 20 14 12 — 66
LADY WILDCATS (19) — A. Anderson 9, B. Anderson 6, Ellison 4, Daniels, Scudder, Thompson, Smith, Vohra, Soles, Rizk.
BEARETTES (66) — Brooke Copeland 20, Rebecca Reuter 9, Halle Hughes 9, Emma Kate Brown 7, Lyndsy Davis 5, Katie Brown 5, Julia Gaither 5, Mady Stallings 3, Chelsie Summars 3, Kailey McRee, Kayla Delane, Gabria Hubbard.
3-POINTERS: Bradley 6 (Davis, Brown, E.K. Brown, Gaither, Stallings, Summars).
FREE THROWS: Oak Ridge 3-of-8; Bradley 10-of-12.
RECORDS: Oak Ridge 1-5; Bradley 4-1.
Franklin County 8 4 11 5 — 28
Bradley Central 11 19 12 7 — 49
REBELETTES (28) — Chelsie Stovall 12, Jordan 6, Reedus 6, Ingel 4, Myers, Henley, Hood, Caroland, Owens, Payne.
BEARETTES (49) — Brooke Copeland 22, Reuter 8, Stallings 6, EK Brown 5, Davis 3, Gaither 5, Hughes, K. Brown, Delane, Summars.
3-POINTERS: Franklin County 6 (Stovall 4, Reedus 2); Bradley Central 6 (Stallings 2, Davis, EK Brown, Copeland, Gaither).
RECORDS: Franklin County 2-4; Bradley 5-1.
Knox Webb 11 19 9 15 — 54
Bradley Central 15 14 19 13 — 61
LADY SPARTANS (48) — Michah Scheetz 19, K. Collier 19, Smith 9, Davis 4, Maxwell, Vance, Satterfield, Collins.
BEARETTES (61) — Brooke Copeland 25, Lyndsey Davis 14, Reuter 8, E.K. Brown 6, Stallings 6, K. Brown 2, Hubbard, Gaither, Summars.
3-point goals: Webb 3 (Scheetz 2, Smith); Bradley 8 (Davis 4, Stallings 2, E.K. Brown, Copeland).
Records: Webb 5-1; Bradley Central 3-1.