Bradley Beats White County, 53-42, To Claim Third Straight 3-AAA Title

Bearettes Will Host Blackman In Sub-State Showdown On Saturday

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Things are getting serious now.

Bradley Central’s Brooke Copeland scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Wednesday night in a 53-42 victory over White County as the Bearettes won their third consecutive Region 3-AAA basketball tournament championship at Cleveland High School.

Ooltewah (19-9) and Bradley Central (18-12) battle Thursday night for the boys championship. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The same two teams played last season for the title, with the Owls winning, 60-58.

The Bearettes (28-2), who are ranked seventh in the latest CoachT.com poll, advanced to Saturday’s sub-state game – one win shy of the state tournament – and will host Blackman (26-4) at 7 p.m.

Blackman lost to powerhouse Riverdale, 61-49, in the Region 4-AAA title game. All four Blackman losses came against Riverdale (31-0), which is ranked No. 5 nationally by USA Today.

“The good news is we host a sub-state game,” said Bradley Central coach Jason Reuter, who is 87-10 in three seasons after beating the Warriorettes for the third time this season. “The bad news is that some people think the second-best team in the state is Blackman.”

White County (21-12), who won a state title in 1929 and was runner-up in 1991 and 1992, goes to Riverdale in Murfreesboro on Saturday.

“We’re going over there and put up a dadgum fight,” Warriorettes coach Bryan Haley said. “We won’t lay down. It’s nothing but gravy for us the rest of the way.”

Copeland, a 6-foot-1-inch junior post who scored 60 points in three games against White County, admitted the Bearettes desperately wanted to win and avoid playing Riverdale in the sub-state.

“A win meant us having another home game and we definitely wanted Blackman over Riverdale to have a shot at the state tournament,” Copeland said. “White County has to go to Riverdale and we all know what that means.”

Cold sweats.

Riverdale has won 54 consecutive games.

Riverdale has won two of the past three Class AAA state championships and finished second to Memphis Central in 2011.

Riverdale has a 128-7 record over the past four seasons.

The last time Riverdale wasn’t in the state tournament was in 2009 when Blackman beat the Lady Warriors, 63-51, in the Region 4-AAA tournament. Riverdale was 28-6 that season.

At this stage of the season, the home court doesn’t guarantee a victory.

A year ago, Bradley routed Cumberland County for the region title, earned the role of host only to lose to Lawrence County, 44-43, without its top player, District 5-AAA Player of the Year Caroline Smith – she was knocked out by a flying elbow against Cumberland County and suffered a season-ending concussion.

“We thought we had a great shot playing at home last year, but lost in overtime,” Reuter said. “Anybody who keeps up with girls basketball knows that if you lost this game tonight your destiny was not bright having to go to Riverdale.

“We need a huge crowd to come out Saturday and support us and let’s get Jim Smiddy Arena rocking a little bit.”

To avert a matchup with Riverdale, Bradley had to take care of White County.

It wasn’t easy.

It wasn’t pretty.

It was, however, a win.

Copeland scored 13 first-half points, 6-2 junior post Rebecca Reuter had seven points – she also finished with a game-high 14 rebounds and blocked four shots before fouling out – and the Bearettes went to the locker room with a shaky, 24-22 lead.

Bradley Central was up 22-13 but Kelsey Roberts and Loren Foster hit back-to-back 3s and Roberts ripped another 3 to tie the game at 22-22 with 21.6 seconds left in the second quarter.

Copeland countered with a layup with 2.8 seconds left.

“I thought Copeland had a big half, but we were just down two at halftime,” Haley said. “We wanted to make those two post players shoot from 6-feet out and do a good job on their 3-point shooters. Some of that worked.”

To get the third quarter started, Bradley’s Kayla Withrow hit a 3, White County’s Allyson Quillen, who scored 11 points, made a bucket and Roberts drove the lane for a layup to pull the Warriorettes to within 27-26.

Copeland popped a straight-on shot, Withrow drained a 3 and Copeland’s put-back gave Bradley a 34-27 advantage. Roberts, who led White County with 15 points, answered with another 3-pointer – she had three in the game – and the Warriorettes were still hanging around at 34-30.

How did they do it?

“They packed it in on defense, we didn’t shoot great early,” Reuter said. “We had a few miscues. They were very patient, they set a lot of screens and back-screens trying to get Foster open, but I thought Brandi (Whitted) did a whale of a job guarding her.”

Foster scored nine points.

Over the next four-plus minutes, Copeland and Reuter – she scored 44 points, including a career-high 19, against the Warriorettes this season – each had four points while White County only got a Quillen free throw and the Bearettes stretched the lead to 42-31 with 5:50 left in the game.

Latha Wilson’s goal trimmed Bradley’s lead to 42-33, but Copeland’s three-point play and Reuter’s layup off an assist by Whitney Donaldson pushed the lead to 47-35 with 1:20 remaining.

The Bearettes, who outrebounded White County 31-17, were 6-for-6 from the free throw line – four by Copeland – over the final 61 seconds to preserve their most important win of the season.

“We hoped we could stay close and make a run late and see if they might fold a little bit,” Haley said. “I thought we could win this game if we hit some 3s. Hats off to Bradley because they’ve won three (region titles) in a row and I’m sure they’ll represent the region well. We’re going to do our best, too.”

Bradley Central is now 6-7 all-time against White County.

Championship Summary

White County                                9 13 9 11 – 42

Bradley Central                            11 13 14 15 – 53

White County (42) – Allyson Quillen 11, Hudgens 2, King 2, Wilson 2, Foster 9, Kelsey Roberts 15, Taylor, Lewis, Johnson, H.Howard, E.Howard, L.Quillen.

Bradley Central (53) – Withrow 6, Davis, Carroll, Donaldson 2, Whitted 3, Brooke Copeland 29, Rebecca Reuter 13.

3-Point Goals: White County 5 (Roberts 3, Foster 2); Bradley Central 3 (Withrow 2, Whitted).

All-Tournament Team

Bradley Central – Brooke Copeland, Rebecca Reuter, Kayla Withrow

White County – Allyson Quillen, Loren Foster, Kelsey Roberts

McMinn County – KeKe Smith, Haley Ward

Cookeville – Hannah Goolsby, Sydney Robinson

Thursday’s Schedule

Boys Championship

Ooltewah (19-9) vs. Bradley Central (18-12), 7 p.m.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


UTC Hoops: Notebook: Mocs Top Marshall – The Rivalry is Back

Senior Tre’ McLean scored a career-high 35 points, UTC beat an old rival, Mocs fans (3,064 announced attendance) came out to cheer and support, Toys for Tots folks received lots of gifts for needy kids and all in all it was an excellent night at McKenzie Arena. High-scoring, talented Marshall came to town Tuesday looking for a win and to rekindle a long time rivalry from ... (click for more)

Lady Flames Dominate In 73-47 Win Over Auburn Montgomery

The Lee women's basketball team made it five wins in a row as it used a dominating second half performance to cruise by Auburn Montgomery, 73-47 on Tuesday evening in Walker Arena. The Lady Flames held a slim 22-18 lead at the half after shooting just 28 percent from the field but rolled out of the halftime break shooting 55.8 percent from the field while canning five treys ... (click for more)

2 Juveniles Arrested For Arson In Sevier County Fires

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in charges being placed against two people in connection with the deadly wildfires in Sevier County.  Last week, at the request of 4 th  District Attorney General ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Already At Work Eliminating Sole Commissioner Post In Walker County; Process To Take 4 Years

Shannon Whitfield is already at work eliminating the position he won by a landslide in the recent election. Mr. Whitfield, who takes over at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1 after a 16-year reign by Bebe Heiskell, noted, however, that it is a four-year process. He said the two House members and local senator are working with him on legislation that must first be approved. That should ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You Can’t Sue You

The Hamilton County School Board will convene an hour earlier tomorrow to discuss “facilities” and the question of the hour is “Which ones?” Several communities are actively studying pulling away from the county’s Department of Education and the stew is thickening by the day. Now comes the revelation that school board attorney Scott Bennett has sent an email to the town of Signal ... (click for more)