Bradley Central Crushes Cumberland County, 87-45, In Region 3-AAA

Withrow's Career-High 26 Points Power Bearettes' Best Offensive Production Of Season

Friday, February 22, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cumberland County looked into the tunnel at the approaching bright light.

Unfortunately for the Lady Jets, it was the Bradley Central Express bearing down on them.

In a game that evoked emotions from a year ago, Bradley Central clobbered Cumberland County, 87-45, on Friday night in the Region 3-AAA tournament quarterfinals behind the career-high 26 points by Kayla Withrow at Jim Smiddy Arena.

“Kayla was unbelievable the way she shot the ball tonight,” Bearettes coach Jason Reuter said. “That basket looked like a big washtub to her because she was just spotting up and letting it fly.”

Withrow, a 5-foot-7-inch guard, made 9-of-14 shots, including 6-of-9 from 3-point distance, and also had four assists. She had nine points, all coming on 3s, in the first half as Bradley roared to a 48-13 lead.

“I’m not shy at all shooting 3s,” Withrow said. “I’m very blessed to have a good team to get me the ball. This feels great.”

The District 5-AAA tournament champion Bearettes, ranked No. 7 in the latest poll, advanced to the semifinals and will take on McMinn County (20-8) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Cleveland High School. McMinn County defeated Coffee County, 39-37.

Two other 5-AAA teams saw their seasons come to an end. Walker Valley lost to Cookeville, 65-55, and Cleveland came up short against White County, 57-43.

On Saturday, the boys take center stage.

Ooltewah (17-9) goes to White County (19-11), 5-AAA tournament champion Walker Valley (18-11) hosts Warren County (13-20), Cleveland (18-11) travels to 6-AAA tourney kingpin Cumberland County (17-15) and Bradley Central (16-12) entertains Cookeville (26-7). All games start at 7 p.m. local time.

In February 2012, Bradley Central drilled Cumberland County, 82-42, but lost District 5-AAA MVP Caroline Smith when a Lady Jets played elbowed her in the face. Smith suffered a concussion and could not play two days later when the Bearettes lost to Lawrence County, 44-43, in the sectional.

“During the whole game it was in the back of our minds that this team (Cumberland County) was the reason we didn’t get to state last year because we lost Caroline,” said junior post Brooke Copeland, who scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

“We remembered that,” she added. “If we had Caroline last year in sectional, there’s no doubt we could have won that next game.”

It took less than eight minutes for Bradley to build a double-digit lead and the Bearettes (26-2) led 22-9 after one quarter.

“I think we played one of our best games of the year,” said junior Rebecca Reuter, the other half of Bradley’s Twin Towers who got into early foul trouble and saw limited action. “Last year’s game was a big factor for us. Everybody knows that wasn’t right, wasn’t fair. We were on fire tonight.”

Coach Reuter, trying to direct the Bearettes to their fifth region title dating to the 200o-01 season, did not need a one-for-the-Gipper pregame speech for this one.

“These kids have not forgotten last year’s game,” he said. “Their friend went down. We weren’t out for blood, but we were out there to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to make you pay and we’ll do it on the scoreboard. I didn’t have to stoke the fire very much.”

Bradley Central’s tenacious defense matched the offensive effort that produced a season-high point total – by 15 points.

After Cumberland sophomore Gina Dick, who scored a team-high 23 points, 15 of which came in the second half, hit a 3 with 46.7 seconds left in the first quarter, the Lady Jets didn’t score over the next 6 minutes and 7 seconds.

Kassidy Sommer, another sophomore, made two free throws to end the Lady Jets’ drought, but by that time they trailed the Bearettes, 40-11. Bradley scored 22 straight points during Cumberland’s run of offensive futility.

“Let me sum this up real quick,” Lady Jets coach Radhika Miller said. “The bottom line was our youth and inexperience. This is as good as it gets, and I’m talking about Bradley Central. They set the bar high. We knew it would be a battle. We had to play a perfect game and grow 2-3 inches during the game, and that didn’t happen.”

The Bearettes outscored the Lady Jets (10-22), 12-5, to start the third quarter for a whopping 60-18 advantage.

Despite Dick’s scoring burst Cumberland County still trailed, 73-29, heading into the fourth quarter.

Withrow was the lone starter to return to the court for the final eight minutes, which were shortened by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s mercy rule – a running clock.

Even then the Bearettes kept their foot on the gas pedal.

Up 73-34, Bradley Central went on a 14-4 run that included a 3 and two free throws by Withrow and three additional 3-pointers in succession by Maggie Thompson, Taelor Hill and Lyndsy Davis.

“We’ve got a tremendous opportunity in front of us, but also a tremendous challenge,” Jason Reuter said. “Nothing less than winning the region will satisfy us. If you don’t win region, you’re setting yourself up for a bad road because I’ll be you a dollar to a doughnut that Riverdale is going to win that region (7-AAA) over there and you don’t want to go to Riverdale with the team they’ve got. They’re ranked No. 1 and undefeated.

“You probably triple the odds (of advancing) by winning and getting a home game.”

Riverdale (29-0) routed Shelbyville, 69-45, Friday night.

Point guard Whitney McDonald was Bradley’s third player in double figures – she finished with 15 points on 6-fo-7 shooting. Thirteen of McDonald’s points came in the first half. She also had four assists.

Rebecca Reuter, while scoring just three points, pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds in just 14 minutes of play.

Brandi Whitted had six assists, six rebounds and three steals.

The Bearettes made 25-of-45 field goals, including 10-of-18 3-pointers and pulled down 46 rebounds.

“Bradley is a great team,” Miller said. “Next year my team won’t be making the mistakes we made tonight. At times, I had three freshmen on the floor tonight. We’re only going to get better.”


Cumberland County                9 4 16 16 – 45

Bradley Central                         22 26 25 14 – 87

Cumberland County (45) – Iles 2, Potter 2, Gina Dick 23, Sl. VanWinkle 6, Teeple 4, Sommer 8, Hyder, Lee, McLaughlin, Sk. VanWinkle, Eldridge, Davis.

Bradley Central (87) – Hill 3, Davis, Kayla Withrow 26, Carroll 9, Whitney McDonald 15, Whitted 3, Stallings, Brooke Copeland 17, Delane, Thompson, Reuter 8.

3-Point Goals – Cumberland County 4 (Dick 2, Sl. VanWinkle 2); Bradley Central 9 (Withrow 6, Hill, McDonald, Thompson).

Saturday’s Region 3-AAA Schedule


Ooltewah at White County

Warren County at Walker Valley

Cleveland at Cumberland County

Cookeville at Bradley Central

All Games Start At 7 p.m. Local Time

(E-mail Larry Fleming at














Signal Mountain Falls To Knox Catholic In AA Final

MURFREESBORO – There were five state championships awarded for high school volleyball at MTSU’s Murphy Center Friday, but none of them came back to Chattanooga. Baylor finished second to Briarcrest while Signal Mountain also had to settle for the runner-up award after losing in three straight sets to Knoxville Catholic. The Lady Irish, improving to 32-11 for the season, won ... (click for more)

Thomas Porter, Taylor Luthringer Win Front Runner Titles

Signal Mountain's Taylor Luthringer and Thomas Porter were the individual winners of the annual Front Runner Invitational cross country race at Baylor Thursday afternoon while the Baylor girls and the McCallie boys were the team champions. Luthringer covered the 3.1-mile course in 19 minutes, three seconds to beat runner-up Carley Braman of GPS by 35 seconds.  Kathryn ... (click for more)

Domestic Assault Charge Dismissed Against Bobby Stone In Case Involving Mayor's Top Advisor; Stone Says Berke Had Inappropriate Relationship With His Wife; Says Berke And Fletcher Conspired To Arrest Him; Lacie Stone Says Charges Completely False

A charge of domestic assault was dismissed Friday morning against Bobby Stone in a case involving a top advisor to Mayor Andy Berke.  Afterward, Mr. Stone told reporters that the mayor had an inappropriate relationship with his wife, Lacie Stone. He also charged that Mayor Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher conspired to arrest him. Mr. Stone is expected to file ... (click for more)

Christopher Padgett Taken Into Custody

A Chattanooga man who went on the lam after cutting off his ankle monitor and failing to show up for the third day of his felony murder trial is back in custody. Christopher Padgett was arrested by Chattanooga Police in the 3200 block of South Street at 12:55 a.m.  He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking. ... (click for more)

Bobby Stone, Is It Really A Win?

It brought a smile to my face this morning when I saw where the case was thrown out of court against Mr. Stone and the domestic violence charge.  I have supported his cause from the beginning, but I do feel heartbreak because his personal life had to be tossed out there for all of us to see.   I truly hope and pray things turn around for him and his wife, while I feel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prayer Over Despair

As a strong proponent of early voting, I joined hundreds at the Hamilton County Election Commission headquarters on Amnicola Highway yesterday to exercise what I consider one of our greatest freedoms – “for the people, by the people.” Candidly, I have never been as upset or as disappointed over my choices for President in my life. Locally I am fine with our candidates but to pick ... (click for more)