Balanced Baylor Accepts Challenge Before Defeating Bradley, 69-44

Brooke Copeland Leads Bradley Girls Past Lady Raiders, 57-39

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - by John Hunt

Baylor's Austin Clark issued a challenge to his Red Raider basketball team before Tuesday night's game with the Bradley Bears and they responded in a positive fashion.

Whatever the veteran coach had to say may never be revealed, but he pushed all the right  buttons and he made all the right calls as his team improved to 3-2 with the balanced 69-44 victory over the Bears at Baylor's Jimmy Duke Arena.

The Bears entered the contest at 5-5, but had surprised District 5-AAA favorite Ooltewah one day last week, so Clark was well aware that Bradley had the potential to play pretty good basketball.

It didn't happen against Baylor.

With four of Baylor's five starters scoring in double figures, the Red Raiders led from the opening whistle.

Consecutive 3s from Matt Clendenen, Amaded Giussani and Gage Upshaw allowed Baylor to bolt to a 9-2 lead in the first half of the first quarter and the Bears played catch up the rest of the evening.

Cole Copeland scored on a layup in the final minute as the Bears got to within 13-9 when the quarter ended, but another 3 by Giussani to open the second period allowed Baylor's lead to stretch to 32-20 by halftime and it never got much closer.

Bradley McCurdy scored on a drive down the lane to open the second half as Bradley got to within 10, but 10 unanswered points by the Red Raiders doubled the lead and the possibility of a Bradley comeback was all but eliminated.

Tyler Seaberg canned a pair of free throws with 20 seconds to play as Baylor enjoyed its biggest lead of the game at the end.

The Baylor coach appeared to be happy with what he saw.

"This is only our fiffh game of the year and we knew what Bradley was capable of doing, so I challenged my guys to come out and play hard.  That's exactly what we did," he said in the friendly confines of the Baylor equipment room afterward.

"We have a lot of options, but I'm really proud of the way we shot the ball tonight.  When we get our feet set, we have some guys who can score, but we have a lot of team speed and I thought we shared it well tonight.

"We really don't care who scores, but our team defense was excellent as well.  As a coach, I'm never totally satisfied with the way we played, but I'm excited about the steps we took tonight toward being a pretty good basketball team.  It's a long road," the Baylor coach concluded.

Bradley coach Chuck Clark certainly didn't fault the effort from his team.

"We knew they were long and athletic and they will be a great team by the end of the season," the first-year Bradley head man said matter of factly afterward.

"We were hoping to play a faster pace, but when they started hitting all of those threes, we had to gamble more on defense and we got burned.  I have never questioned the effort of my guys and they played with a lot of heart and intensity tonight as they don't know the meaning of the word quit.

"But we don't always play smart.  Tonight Baylor took advantage of our mistakes and they were the better team, but we'll play them in a couple of weeks at our place.  Tonight was their night," he nodded.

Giussani naied five 3s for the game and finished with a game-high 19 points while Clendenen was next with 18.  Sammy Lupas and Upshaw were next with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Taylor Bentley was tops for Bradley with 11 points.  Logan Cox and Daniel Clark both followed with eight points apiece.

Baylor won the rebound battle, 27-19, with Clendenen grabbing seven and Lupas five.  Clark snagged five for the Bears.

BRADLEY GIRLS 57, BAYLOR 39: The Lady Red Raiders jumped out to a 9-2 lead at the start and still had a 9-6 lead when the first quarter ended, but the Bearettes got warmed up in the second stanza to lead for the first time and they never looked back.

The Bearettes, perhaps the best girls team in the area, took advantage of a definite height advantage with Brooke Copeland scoring 25 points and grabbing 16 rebounds to lead the offense as Bradley won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Copeland didn't start and sat on the bench for the first four minutes while Baylor built that early lead, but once she hit the floor, the tide started to turn.

Baylor tried every thing within the rules to stop Bradley's inside game, but nothing seemed to work.

Rebecca Reuter, Bradley's other big girl, was next with 10 points and a dozen rebounds.  Emma Kate Brown followed with nine.

Abby Hubert was tops for Baylor with 11 points while Kaleigh Clemons finished with seven.

GIRLS SUMMARY

BRADLEY    6  14  21  16  --  57

BAYLOR      9  5  14  11  --  39

BRADLEY (57) -- Reuter 10, Copeland 25, Davis 2, Delane, Stallings 3, Summars 2, Gaither, K. Brown, E. Brown 9, Hughes 6, McRee.

BAYLOR (39) -- Clemons 7, Waterburg 1, Huckabay 2, Cornell, Hubert 11, Birdsong 2, Looper 1, Smith 4, Long 4, Popp 5, Blackmon, McMahan 4, Goodner.

3-POINT GOALS: Bradley 3 (Copeland, Stallings, E. Brown); Baylor 2 (Clemons, Hubert).

BOYS SUMMARY

BRADLEY  9  11  13  11  --  44

BAYLOR   13  19  18  19  --  69

BRADLEY (44) -- Bentley 11, Cox 8, Crisp, McGowan, Gregory 2, Maroon 2, Clark 8, Morgan 6, McCurdy 2, Copeland 5.

BAYLOR (69) -- Clendenen 18, Giussani 19, Lupas 13, Upshaw 10, King 7, Maize, Brogdon, Seaberg 2, Strawter, Wu, Jump.

3-POINT GOALS: Bradley 4 (Bentley, Cox 2, Clark); Baylor 8 (Clendenen, Giussani 5, Upshaw 2).

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


PHOTOS: Chattanooga Earns 2-0 Shutout Over Nashville FC

TSWA Announces All-State Soccer Teams

 The Tennessee Sports Writers Association recently announced its all-state high school soccer teams. THE TEAMS        TSWA All State Boys’ Soccer teams Class AAA Nathan Djona, Antioch junior forward Avery Cowan, Brentwood senior midfielder Johnny Heckman, Centennial senior midfielder Nick Zalewski, Sr., Cookeville ... (click for more)

Muslim Advocacy Group Questions House Arrest For Signal Mountain Man Charged In Threats Against Muslim Village In New York

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Saturday questioned the release of a Signal Mountain man who admitted to planning what it called "a Charleston-style terror attack" on a Muslim community in New York. CAIR also called for stepped up protection for the community targeted in the plot. Judge ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)